Crowell opens health care consulting firm to address changing sector

  • Washington, D.C.-founded law firm launches Crowell Health Solutions
  • Trio of Crowell lawyers to lead the subsidiary

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(Reuters) – Crowell & Moring said Wednesday it is launching a consulting firm focused on health care innovation, as it seeks to work with health care and technology companies on business and policy matters beyond providing legal advice.

A firm representative said Crowell Health Solutions will operate as a subsidiary of the law firm.

Three of Crowell’s Washington, D.C.-based lawyers will lead the new consulting shop while also maintaining their law firm roles. Two are former officials at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

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Law firms in recent years have set up consulting arms or internal divisions that are meant to complement the firms’ legal services, open up new business lines and engage with different clients in a competitive market.

Crowell Health Solutions expects to work with clients the law firm already has relationships with and attract new ones, said Jodi Daniel, one of the consulting firm’s leaders and a founding director of the policy office in the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology within HHS.

Potential clients include technology companies innovating in the health care market and traditional health care organizations, she said.

Daniel will lead the new shop alongside Janet Walker, who previously worked as in-house counsel at private healthcare system Ascension, and Troy Barsky, a former director of the Division of Technical Payment Policy at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Other law firms have also branched out into health care consulting in some form, including McDermott, Will & Emery and Manatt, Phelps & Phillips.

Daniel said rather than serving the entire healthcare market, Crowell’s new unit is eying areas including digital health, value-based care and health equity.

While Crowell has been considering the venture for several years, the COVID-19 pandemic has “revealed the opportunity for quite a bit of transformation within healthcare,” Walker said. Health equity is one issue that has “come to the forefront,” she said.

The pandemic also brought increased investment in digital health technology, along with changing government policies and regulations on innovation and health care, Daniel said.

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