Laura A. Kowal

Associate

kowall@ballardspahr.com
Tel 215.864.8472
Fax 215.864.8999
Philadelphia

Laura A. Kowal focuses on transactional work, including mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, and drafting and negotiating various legal instruments such as licensing agreements, employment agreements, and consulting arrangements. Her client base consists of companies at different stages of development in a variety of industries, life science companies, technology companies, and health care providers including hospitals, physician group practices, pharmacies, and clinical laboratories. Ms. Kowal counsels clients on federal and state regulatory and compliance issues, including Medicare/Medicaid fraud and abuse, HIPAA, HITECH, and state privacy laws. 

Before entering law school, Ms. Kowal worked as a physical therapist and wound-care specialist for more than 10 years. She has practical knowledge of the various regulatory and reimbursement landscapes specific to acute care hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and the home health and outpatient health care settings. During law school, she served a legal externship with the Office of the General Counsel at Johns Hopkins Medical Institute in Baltimore.

Before joining Ballard Spahr, Ms. Kowal completed a legal externship in risk management in a community hospital system.

Representative Matters

  • Assisted in numerous health care acquisition transactions, including the sale of a large cardiology practice to a hospital, the sale of a radiology practice to a hospital, the purchase of a skilled nursing facility in a bankruptcy proceeding, and the sale of a skilled nursing facility in a receivership proceeding
  • Assisted in the formation of a clinically integrated organization between a regional insurance company, an academic medical practice group, and a hospital system
  • Drafted and negotiated technology outsourcing agreement and exhibits on behalf of a health care technology company
  • Represented a large public grocery store chain in the restructuring of its retail pharmacy operations in five states related to a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy reorganization and regularly advises the client on ongoing regulatory questions
  • Advises a Medicare certified clinical laboratory in various matters, including a review and updating of its compliance program in preparation for an initial public offering and drafting of regulatory disclosures for Form S-1, and provides ongoing advice on billing policies, sales and marketing practices, and structuring relationships with physicians
  • Assists a large anesthesia practice in corporate governance matters, drafting and negotiation of services agreements and employment agreements, and the development of a medical home demonstration project
  • Advised a hospice and home health care client in a joint venture with a community hospital to develop a palliative care services program, and regularly advises the client on various compliance matters
  • Successfully advocated the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid for the development of quality standards necessary for improving the competitive bidding process for certain durable medical equipment; drafted communication for a consortium of medical device manufacturers in the wound care industry to the Secretary of Health and Human Services
  • Acted as local regulatory counsel for an investment fund in connection with the acquisition and financing of multiple assisted-living facilities, including preparation of opinion letters
  • Performed due diligence related to the possible affiliation of a university client with a medical school
  • Regularly assists and advises firm clients in issues related to medical records and privacy issues
  • Assisted litigation counsel in the preparation of a hospital defense in a medical credentialing case
  • Achieved a favorable settlement for a university client related to a government investigation of Title IV student lending practices
  • Assists multiple clients in the nonprofit arena with governance issues, drafting of corporate documents and policies, and tax-exempt applications

Professional Activities

Philadelphia Bar Association

American Health Lawyers Association

American Physical Therapy Association

Publications

Co-author, "OIG Releases Special Fraud Alert on Laboratory Payments to Physicians," Ballard Spahr Health Care legal alert, June 26, 2014

Co-author, "Final Rules Issued for Health Care Reform Tax on Medical Devices, Effective January 1, 2013," Ballard Spahr Health Care legal alert, December 11, 2012

Co-author, "Accountable Care Organizations: Final Rules Issued," Ballard Spahr Health Care legal alert, October 27, 2011

"Patent Reform Bill Clears House; Reconciliation with Senate Bill Expected," Ballard Spahr Health Care legal alert, July 5, 2011

Co-author, "Proposed Regulations Issued for Accountable Care Organizations," Ballard Spahr Health Care legal alert, April 1, 2011

Speaking Engagements

"Hot Topics in Health Care: Navigating the Pitfalls and Minimizing the Risks of Consolidation and Coordination," Ballard Spahr CLE program, March 19, 2014

Board Memberships

Vice President, Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions Alumni Network

Dean's Advisory Board, Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions

University of Maryland School of Law (J.D. 2009, health law)
Representative, National Health Law Moot Court Competition

Drexel University (Masters of Physical Therapy 1998)
Recipient, Margaret E. Kleinfeld Award for significant contribution to the physical therapy profession

Vanderbilt University (B.A. 1994)

Languages

Proficient in Spanish

Pennsylvania