For years, Fletcher Brown was one of the Texas legal community’s best-kept secrets. Whether he was working with a small, rural health clinic in West Texas or a mega-hospital in Houston, Brown had a way of meeting and exceeding the expectations of his clients, gaining their loyalty along the way.
Then the secret got out.
Nashville-based Waller, which is arguably the nation’s pre-eminent health law firm, reached out to Brown, providing a platform for the attorney to take what he has done so well in Texas to a national client base. If the last couple years are any indication, the marriage has worked, which is why Brown seemed like the perfect subject for one of our regular interviews.
Question: Tell us about your practice?
Answer: In my practice I feel blessed to work with people who want to make a difference. Every day there seems to be something new and interesting in health law that I work on. So, it never feels like “work.”
Q: What are the advantages of working for a firm like Waller?
A: Waller is ranked as the fifth largest healthcare firm in the United States in 2014 by Modern Healthcare, and is the top ranked law firm in the South for membership in the American Bar Association’s Health Law Section. That deep bench of talent serves as a resource for me as well as the firm’s clients.
More specifically, Waller’s healthcare practice is distinguished by a team of dedicated attorneys who focus exclusively on regulatory compliance and operational matters. Since January 2013, when I joined the Firm, we’ve expanded our regulatory and compliance team to 29 attorneys – including the addition of seven veteran attorneys with more than 140 years of combined healthcare experience gained in‐house at hospitals, health systems, home health providers, private payers, physician practices and durable medical equipment manufacturers as well as at other top‐ranked law firms and United States Attorney’s Offices.
Waller’s healthcare government investigations team includes former federal prosecutors with effective relationships with enforcement agencies including the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney’s Offices across the country, OIG’s Office of Counsel to the Inspector General, and various state Medicaid Fraud Control Units.
Q: How has the field of health law changed since you first became involved?
A: Everyone probably says this, but when I graduated from law school health law was a small elective class that maybe met twice a week. It certainly was not a concentrated path of study like it is now. In actual practice, I’ve notice the rising number of federal and state agencies that play a role in health care, the rising level of complexity of that oversight and guidance, as well as the rising complexity of business arrangements. Perhaps when we remind ourselves that health care is now almost 18 percent of our economy it’s no wonder that it has grown so in complexity and oversight.
Q: What was the biggest influence in you becoming a lawyer and why?
A: When I graduated from college I really wanted to get into real estate development. However, that was back when Austin had one of the real estate crashes. At the time I was a real estate loan officer for Texas Commerce Bank here in town. When the crash happened, I began working on lots of loan workouts, obviously with lawyers. That experience was a big influence on my decision to enroll in law school.