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As anyone who pays for health insurance knows – and anyone who can’t afford it knows even better – the health care system in America faces economic crisis. The cost of employer-provided insurance is skyrocketing, and the poor and unemployed generally have no insurance at all. But it’s not only the consumers of health care who are hurting. In California, hospitals and even some health care provider groups have struggled to stay afloat. In this special report, we examine the economics of health care from a lawyer’s perspective. In our cover story, Gregory V. Moser and Thomas L. Driscoll of Foley & Lardner describe how community leaders saved Healdsburg General Hospital by creating a hospital district that levies taxes to shore up the hospital’s bottom line. Morrison & Foerster’s Mitchell Olejko and Somnath Raj Chatterjee argue that hospitals, required by state law to provide emergency care, need swifter procedures for obtaining reimbursement from balky insurers. The federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act takes effect in a few months, and ensuring compliance won’t be cheap. Davis Wright Tremaine’s Gerald M. Hinkley and Rachel Glitz point out that compliance is complicated by the potential for state law preemption. Speaking of compliance, Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal’s Reece Hirsch suggests that every health care enterprise, whether public or private, should evaluate its corporate governance practices under the Sarbanes-Oxley corporate accountability act. We hope you enjoy this special report, and we welcome your feedback. Please e-mail any you may have to [email protected]

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