Bio

Robert L. Coffield provides legal counsel to a variety of business and health care clients. He provides counsel to hospitals, home health providers, QIOs, clinics, physicians and physician groups, and health care trade organizations.

Mr. Coffield represents health care providers involved in regulatory litigation and compliance, certificate of need, privacy and security, joint ventures, professional disciplinary and licensure matters, technology issues, and other health and business law issues. Mr. Coffield advises clients on implementing regulatory compliance policies and procedures, HIPAA compliance, fraud and abuse, Stark, medical staff and peer review issues, negotiating physician recruitment and employment contracts and risk management matters. He represents health care and business clients on corporate matters, corporate structuring, transactions, joint ventures, formulation and dissolution and licensing.

Mr. Coffield understands and has experience in the application of technology to the practice of law and medicine, including issues surrounding social networking, the health 2.0 movement, privacy and security of health data, the evolution and adoption of electronic health record systems, implementation of health information systems and other technology issues impacting the health care industry.

Governor Joe Manchin appointed Mr. Coffield to a four year term on the Board of the West Virginia Health Information Network (2006 - 2010), created to promote the design, implementation and operation of a fully interoperable statewide health network to facilitate public and private use of health care data. In addition, Mr. Coffield was selected to serve as the 2006-2007 Co-Chair for the American Health Lawyers Association's Privacy and Security Compliance and Enforcement Health Information Technology Affinity Group. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Coffield held the position of Assistant General Counsel for the West Virginia Health Care Authority (1998 - 2001).

Mr. Coffield is the author of Health Care Law Blog, an analysis and commentary on a variety of health care law related industry news and information with a focus on legal issues that impact West Virginia news and information with a focus on West Virginia law.

Education:
  • J.D., West Virginia University College of Law (1993)
  •  B.A., cum laude, English, Bethany College (1988)
Court Admissions:
  • United States District Court Southern District of West Virginia
  • West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals
Representative Legal Work:
  • Represented a West Virginia hospital seeking a certificate of need involving the development of a comprehensive cancer center program.
  • Represented a West Virginia nonprofit hospital in negotiations with a for profit hospital system to sell its facility in return for the construction of a new $80 million health care facility to serve the local community.
  • Defended and settled a United States Department of Justice investigation involving two hospitals who allegedly allocated the market by dividing cancer and open heart related services to strengthen the provision of services in a rural setting and addressed related state action doctrine issues involving the West Virginia Health Care Authority’s certificate of need regulatory scheme.
  • Represented a group of West Virginia hospitals in a class action suit who were alleged to be overcharging patients for copies of medical records under the statutory structure outlined in the West Virginia Code.
  • Represented and advised multiple hospitals and physician groups on implementation of and compliance with the Privacy and Security Standards under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).
  • Represented a national home health care provider in a $4.5 million dollar acquisition of a West Virginia rural home health agency servicing a six county service area.
  • Represented a national home health care provider in acquiring a certificate of need to acquire a West Virginia home health care provider for $4.5 million dollars.
  • Represented a national home health care provider in for-profit and non-profit joint venture acquisition of hospital-based home health services.
  • Represented and advised Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) on various state and federal issues involving Medicare and Medicaid quality and utilization review.
  • Represented and advised an affiliated academic medical practice on privacy and security compliance, development of model policy and procedures and transitional issues under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).
  • Represented a regional emergency medicine provider on business and transactional issues, including formation of West Virginia entities, negotiation of various agreements and regulatory compliance matters.
  • Represented a regional correctional medicine company on various litigation and compliance related matters, including compliance with the Privacy and Security Standards under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).
  • Sought exemption from certificate of need review for a mobile ultrasound service provider in West Virginia.
  • Represented physician in Medicaid related audit, investigation and settlement on billing and reimbursement issues.
  • Represented a West Virginia ophthalmologist in the acquisition of an ophthalmology practice and eye care center.
  • Represented nurse before the West Virginia Board of Registered Nurse on licensure and impaired provider issues.
  • Assisted various hospitals, physicians and other health care clients with internal risk management and compliance investigations.
  • Assist hospitals, physicians and insurance companies in seeking advisory opinion on proposed projects involving certificate of need approval.
Professional Involvement:
  • American Health Lawyers Association
  • Co-Chair, Privacy and Security Compliance and Enforcement Health Information Technology Affinity Group (2006 - Present)
  • West Virginia Health Information Network
    • Board Member, appointed to a four-year term by Governor Joe Manchin (2006 - 2010)
  • West Virginia Health Information Security and Privacy Collaborative Project
    • Committee Member, Legal Working Group (2006 - 2007)
  • West Virginia eHealth Initiative
    • Steering Committee Member (2005 - Present)
  • West Virginia Chamber of Commerce
    • Economic Development Committee (2006 - Present)
  • West Virginia Bar Association
  • Kanawha County Bar Association
Community Involvement:
  • Create West Virginia, Board Member (2010)
  • Charleston Montessori School, Founding Member (2010)
Awards and Honors:
  • The Best Lawyers in America - Health Care Law (2008 - Present)
    • 2014 - Lawyer of the Year - Charleston, WV - Health Care Law
  • West Virginia Super Lawyers (2010 - Present)
Teaching & Lecturing:
  • HIPAA, Medical Record Compliance and the E-Revolution, Medical Education Services Seminar, Charleston, West Virginia, June 25, 2001.
  • Overview of HIPAA Privacy Standards and West Virginia Prompt Payment Act, CME Presentation Mercer County Medical Society, Bluefield, West Virginia, October 15, 2001.
  • Administrative Simplification Section under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, Lorman Educational Services, Charleston, West Virginia, December 12, 2001.
  • HIPAA: The Background and Basics of Administrative Simplification, Mountain State Blue Cross Blue Shield Group Health Plan HIPAA Awareness Meeting, Charleston, West Virginia, June 5, 2002. 
  • HIPAA, Medical Record Compliance and the E-Revolution, Medical Education Services Seminar, Charleston, West Virginia, June 18, 2002.
  • The Impact of HIPAA on West Virginia Physicians: Basic Understanding of the Standard Transactions, Privacy and Security Standards, Health Care Summit 2002, West Virginia State Medical Association, The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, August 24, 2002.
  • HIPAA: The Impact on Physicians, Thomas Memorial Hospital – Medical Staff, Charleston, West Virginia, November 12, 2002.
  • HIPAA: The Impact on Physicians, Raleigh County Medical Society, Beckley, West Virginia, November 24, 2002 and December 14, 2002.
  • State Law and the New HIPAA Standards in West Virginia, Lorman Educational Services Seminar, Charleston, West Virginia, December 12, 2002.
  • HIPAA: The Impact on Physicians, Saint Francis Hospital, Charleston, West Virginia, December 17, 2002.
  • HIPAA Compliance: Understanding and Implementing the Security and Privacy Regulations, Lorman Educational Services, Robert L. Coffield (Speaker), Charleston, West Virginia, March 27, 2003.
  • Implementing HIPAA for the Small Medical Practice, BRIM and Marsh, Inc. - Loss Prevention Seminar, Charleston, West Virginia, April 14, 2003.
  • HIPAA: Practicing Good Privacy, Bluefield Regional Medical Center – Physician Medical Staff, Bluefield, West Virginia, May 14, 2003.
  • HIPAA: Understanding the Impact on Law Firms, Southern & Northern Chapters of the WV American Association Legal Nurse Consultants, June 5, 2003.
  • Risk Management & Legal Issues for Physicians in West Virginia, Bluefield Regional Medical Center – Physician Medical Staff, Bluefield, West Virginia, September 20, 2003.
  • HIPAA: Practicing Good Privacy and the Impact on Access Rights by Law Enforcement, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner SART Conference, Marshall University Forensic Science Center, Huntington, West Virginia, October 14, 2003.
  • Mock Trial & Case Study: HIPAA, Privacy & Confidentiality Issues in West Virginia, West Virginia Office Managers Association, Mountaineer Conference Center, Chester, West Virginia, November 7, 2003.
  • Mock Trial & Case Study: HIPAA, Privacy & Confidentiality Issues in West Virginia, Physician Risk Management Seminar – Marsh USA, Inc. and Board of Risk Management, Huntington and Charleston, West Virginia, November 12 & 13, 2003.
  • HIPAA’s Impact On West Virginia Providers and Health Plans: Privacy, Security and the Preemption of West Virginia Law, Lorman Educational Services Seminar, Charleston, West Virginia, December 11, 2003.
  • Breaches of Confidentiality – A West Virginia Mock Trial, Thirteenth Annual Winter Conference, West Virginia Society For Respiratory Care, Canaan Valley, West Virginia, February 6, 2004.
  • Mock Trial & Case Study: HIPAA, Privacy & Confidentiality Issues in West Virginia, Morgantown Chapter – West Virginia Office Managers Association, Morgantown, West Virginia, March 3, 2004.
  • Confidentiality and Privacy of Medical Information in West Virginia, Lorman Educational Services, Robert L. Coffield and Edward C. Martin (Speakers), Charleston, West Virginia, August 31, 2004.
  • The Impact of HIPAA, FERPA and the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 on Higher Education, Marshall University Graduate School of Education, LS745 Higher Education Law, South Charleston, West Virginia, July 11, 2005.
  • Confidentiality and Privacy of Medical Information in West Virginia, Lorman Educational Services, Robert L. Coffield and Edward C. Martin (Speakers), Charleston, West Virginia, August 25, 2005.
  • Privacy & Informational Compliance Issues: HIPAA, FACTA, US PATRIOT Act and Workplace Legal Issues, West Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants 14th Annual Conference for Industry & Governmental Professionals, Charleston, West Virginia, September 23, 2005.
  • Confidentiality and Privacy of Medical Information in West Virginia, Lorman Educational Services, Robert L. Coffield and Edward C. Martin (Speakers), Charleston, West Virginia, August 3 2006.
  • Healthcare Blogging – Facts &  Issues Panel: Understanding Size, Influence and Rules of the Healthcare Blogosphere, Healthcare Blogging Summit 2006, Panel Discussion: Dmitriy Kruglyak (Moderator) Publisher, The Medical Blog Network; Fard Johnmar, MA, Founder, Envision Solutions LLC and Author: "The Emerging Healthcare Blogosphere, What Is It & Why Does It Matter?"; Robert L. Coffield, JD: Member, Flaherty, Sensabaugh & Bonasso, PLLC; First healthcare law blogger; John Mack, MA, MS, MPhil, President, VirSci Corporation and Publisher, Pharma Marketing Network; and Mike Smith, President, Michael Smith Business Development, Washington DC, December 11, 2006.
  • Healthcare Blogging and Web 2.0: Understanding the Basics and Exploring the Impact on the Healthcare Industry, Hospitals and Health Systems Law Institute, American Health Lawyers Association, Robert L. Coffield, Las Vegas, NV, February 5-7, 2007.
  • The Value of Blogging In Business, Charleston Area Alliance – CEO Roundtable, Robert L. Coffield, Matthew Ballard and Skip Lineberg, Charleston, West Virginia, April 4, 2007.
  • West Virginia’s Prompt Payment Act and Other Health Law Developments for West Virginia Hospitals, Revenue Cycle Meeting for the West Virginia chapter of the Healthcare Financial Management Association, Robert L. Coffield, Sutton, West Virginia, April 9, 2007.
  • Open Healthcare – Learning to Live in the Brave New World: Openness, Controversy and Crisis Management in Blogs and Social Media, Healthcare Blogging Summit 2007, Panel Discussion: Dmitriy Kruglyak (Moderator): CEO, Trusted.MD Network; Matthew Holt: Author & Consultant, The Health Care Blog; Nicholas Jacobs, FACHE: CEO, Windber Medical Center & Research Institute; Robert L. Coffield, JD: Member, Flaherty, Sensabaugh & Bonasso, PLLC; Elisa Cooper, Whistleblower; Las Vegas, Nevada, April 30, 2007.
  • Privacy and Security Enforcement: Advice on Federal Civil Enforcement Actions under HIPAA, West Virginia Health Information Management Association Annual Meeting, Robert L. Coffield, Charleston, West Virginia, May 14, 2007.
  • Confidentiality and Privacy of Medical Information in West Virginia, Lorman Educational Services, Robert L. Coffield and Edward C. Martin (Speakers), Charleston, West Virginia, August 6 2007.
  • Health Care Information Privacy and Security Monitoring, Audits and Investigations, How to avoid an investigation and what you should expect if the state or federal officials call?, Lorman Educational Services, Robert L. Coffield, Michael T. Harmon, Terri Barrett and Jack L. Shaffer, Jr., Charleston, West Virginia, November 13, 2007.
  • Medical Identity Theft: “Preying on Patients”, Panel Discussion, World Healthcare Innovation and Technology Congress 2008 (WHIT v4.0), Washington, DC, December 8-10, 2008.
  • Consumer Driven Healthcare, Annual Meeting – West Virginia Chapter Healthcare Financial Management Association, Charleston, WV, January 15, 2009.
  • The Legal Liabilities and Policy Implications for Health IT Adoption, co-speaker with Rod Piechowski, Senior Associate Director for Policy, American Hospital Association and Director, National Association of Health Information Technology, World Health Care Congress – 2nd Annual Leadership Summit on Consumer Connectivity, Carlsbad, CA, February 23-24, 2009.
  • AHLA Teleconference: HIPAA Privacy Regulation Fundamentals – An Introductory Course, co-speaker with Phyllis F. Granade and Rebecca Williams, American Health Lawyers Association, May 13, 2009.
  • Panel I – What Will Health IT Look Like in 5 or 10 Years?, Testimony and Panel Discussion with Daniel J. Weitzner, Director, Technology and Society, World Wide Web Consortium and Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, THINK-Health, The Future of Personal Health Records and Consumer Facing Health Information Technology, Testimony before the Subcommittee on Privacy, Confidentiality and Security, National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics (NCVHS), Washington, DC, May 20, 2009.
  • Generation Charleston Professional Development: Web 2.0 Summer School, Charleston, WV, June 2009.
  • PHRs, Health 2.0 and the Impact of Social Networking on Consumer Driven Healthcare, co-speaker with Jud DeLoss, American Health Lawyers Association, 2009 Annual Meeting and In House Counsel Program, Washington, DC, June 30, 2009.
  • Getting The Most Out of Advancing Technology, Keynote, West Virginia Primary Care Association Annual Meeting, Oglebay Park, Wheeling, WV, August 5, 2009.
  • Health Topics To Make Your Head Spin: Spotting Important Health Law Issues Every Practicing Attorney Should Know, co-speaker with Alaina Crislip, 123rd Annual Meeting of The West Virginia Bar Association, The Homestead, Hot Springs, VA, August 21, 2009.
  • HIPAA Goes HITECH, West Virginia Compliance Officers Meeting, Charleston, WV September 25, 2009.
  • Staying On The Good Side of HIPAA: Safe and Ethical Blogging Practices, Panel Discussion with Mike Sevilla, Rob Lamberts and Debra Farber, Blog World New Media Expo 2009, Las Vegas, NV, October 15, 2009.
  • Grassroots Health Care: Web 2.0, Social media and Viral Advocacy, Annual Tobacco Control Advocacy Conference, Charleston, WV, January 20, 2010. 
  • February 4, 2010 -- HIPAA Goes HITECH: The State of Electronic Health Information, Southern West Virginia Chapter of American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants, Charleston, WV.
  • February 25-26, 2010 -- Hospital’s Friend or Foe: The Age of Social Media and Health 2.0, co-speaker with Jody Joiner, American Health Lawyers Association, 2010 Hospitals and Health Systems Law Institute, Miami, FL.  
  • March 18, 2010 -- Medical Records Law (Consumer Driven Health Care: HITECH Breach Notification, Health 2.0 Social Media and PHRs), Co-Speaking with Michael Harmon, James Thomas and Sallie Milam, Lorman Educational Services, Charleston, WV. 
  • March 19, 2010 -- Health Care Reform Update Panel Discussion (Joe Letnaunchyn, CEO of WVHA; Sallie Milam, Executive Director of WVHIN; Mark Morgan, CFO Huntington Internal Medicine Group) and Ethics: HIPAA Law Firm Policies Business Associate Agreement Requirements, Health Care Law 2010, Co-Sponsored by the Law and Medicine Committee of the West Virginia State Bar, WVU Medical Center, Charleston, WV. 
  • April 8, 2010 -- Bethany College Communications Week, Panel Discussion sponsored by Integrated Marketing Class, Panel Discussion on Social Media and Networking, Bethany, WV. 
  • May 4, 2010 --  The Intersection of Social Media and Human Subjects Research, teleconference co-sponsored by the American Health Lawyers Association's Health Information Technology, Life Sciences and Teaching Hospitals and Academic Medical Centers Practice Groups, Moderator:  Karl A. Thallner, Jr., Reed Smith LLP, Panelists: Robert L. Coffield, Flaherty Sensabaugh Bonasso PLLC, Naomi Halpern, Esquire, Frommer Lawrence & Haug, and Laura Odwazny, Senior Attorney, Public Health Division, Office for Human Research Protections, Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Rockville, MD. 
  • May 13, 2010 - HIPAA 2 HITECH Panel Discussion,  West Virginia Chapter of Healthcare Financial Management Association (WVHFMA) 2010 Spring Education Program, Stonewall Resort, Roanoke, WV.
  • May 21, 2010 -- HIPAA Goes HITECH: Update on Health Care Laws for Legal Nurse Consultants, West Virginia Bar Association Legal Nurse Consultant Division,  Spring Conference, Charleston Marriott, Charleston, WV. 
  • May 25, 2010 -- Empowered Marketing and Health Care Social Media, West Virginia Critical Access Hospital Network, Co-Presentors: Jeff James, Mythology Marketing; Brandon Holmes WELD, LLC, West Virginia Hospital Association, Charleston, WV.
  • June 16, 2010 -- Social Media: The Opportunities and the Challenges in Healthcare, teleconference sponsored by the American Health Lawyers Association's Health Information Technology Practice Group, Moderator: Linda S. Ross, Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP, Detroit, MI; Panelists: Robert L. Coffield, Flaherty Sensabaugh Bonasso PLLC, Charleston, WV; Daniel S. Goldman, Legal Counsel at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. 
  • June 30, 2010 -- After HITECH, How Might Health Information Exchange Change Our Lives?, American Health Lawyers Association 2010 Annual Meeting, Practice Group Luncheon Co-Sponsored by Health Information Technology and Life Sciences,  Panel Discussion: Robert L. Coffield, Flaherty Sensabaugh Bonasso PLLC; Matthew Holt, Health Care Strategist and Author of The Health Care Blog, San Francisco, CA; Jacqueline Studer, General Counsel Health Information Technology GE Healthcare, Barrington, IL and Moderator: Rebecca L. Williams, RN, JD, Davis Wright Tremaine, LLP, Seattle, WA.
    Writings & Publications: