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Name and title: Eileen M. Coggins, senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary Age: 40 Elder Care Empire: Genesis HealthCare Corp. is one of the nation’s largest providers of health care to the elderly. Headquartered in Kennett Square, Pa., Genesis owns and operates more than 200 skilled nursing care and assisted living facilities in 12 eastern states. Through its rehabilitation services division, the company provides physical therapy and wellness sessions on a contract basis to 730 nursing homes, hospitals, adult day care programs clinics and other elder care facilities in 21 states. In December 2003, Genesis HealthCare was spun off from Genesis Health Ventures, a nursing home and pharmacy services provider that had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in June 2000. The publicly held company has more than 34,600 employees, and reported more than $1.5 billion in revenues for fiscal year 2004. Aging Americans: Coggins said that her company serves a “mix” of elderly patients. Genesis physicians, nurses and physical therapists help many individuals to recover from injury or illness so that they may return to their homes or retirement communities, said Coggins. The company also provides long-term care for patients with terminal or incapacitating conditions. “We render compassionate care and support for families of individuals who are facing end of life, or seeing a family member slip away because of Alzheimer’s or other complications,” said Coggins. As insurance companies have become more reluctant to subsidize lengthy hospitalizations, Genesis and other nursing care providers are treating patients with more serious or acute conditions, such as strokes, dementia or illnesses requiring intravenous therapies. Legal Team: Coggins reports to Chief Executive Officer George V. Hager Jr. and supervises associate general counsel Richard Reilly and one paralegal. She is planning to fill two attorney vacancies, one for an employment lawyer and the other for general corporate, securities and contract matters. Among Coggins’ main duties as GC are counseling the board on corporate governance issues, ensuring regulatory compliance, handling securities matters, dealing with employment-related claims and overseeing litigation. Philadelphia’s Blank Rome handles most of the company’s general corporate and securities matters, with Coggins relying principally on Richard McMahon as well as Kathleen McDermott in the firm’s Washington office. Genesis also hires firms on a case-specific basis for litigation and regulatory compliance issues. Regulatory Compliance: Elder health care is “one of the more complex and heavily regulated industries,” said Coggins, with federal and state regulations covering nearly every area of patient care, billing practices and financial management. Genesis derives about 80% of its revenue from Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement, she said, and thus is bound by the bureaucratic strings attached to these funds. Coggins has helped set up a task force to implement extensive new administrative and privacy requirements under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. As a participants in Medicaid and Medicare, Genesis facilities are subject to annual surveys by federal and state regulators. These surveys include unannounced inspections, and detailed interviews of staff over patient care and financial management issues. Facilities are required to submit and implement plans to correct any identified deficiencies. Findings of program deficiencies may also lead to more severe consequences, including daily fines, restrictions on new admissions and revocation of Medicare/ Medicaid agreements. “We take the survey process very seriously,” said Coggins. Coggins leads annual training sessions on new and existing regulatory requirements for the company’s nursing and medical directors and nursing home administrators. “The interpretation and enforcement of the regulatory requirements for participation in Medicare/Medicaid change frequently, depending upon often subjective interpretation of the regulations,” she said. “I work closely with the clinical and operations management . . . to stay on top of the important regulatory issues.” Incapacity Issues: Coggins is sometimes called upon to deal with legal issues related to the care of patients with Alzheimer’s disease or other incapacitating conditions. Over the last several years, Coggins said, more residents have executed advance health care directives, durable power of attorney documents and estate plans. However, some patients do not have legally binding documents. In other cases, the quality of the legal draftsmanship in these documents is lacking, with ambiguities giving rise to disputes among family members on medical care or financial issues. Whenever possible, said Coggins, Genesis attempts to resolve the issues informally at the facility level, with the involvement of family, physicians and administrators. However, Genesis will seek official intervention when necessary, such as in cases of suspected abuse, neglect or financial exploitation of a patient by family members. Route to the Top: Coggins grew up in Elkins Park, Pa., and graduated from West Chester University in 1987. After receiving her J.D. in 1992 from Widener University School of Law, she went in-house at Keystone Care Group of Media, Pa., which owns nursing homes and provides ambulance and pharmacy services. She learned the hard way about regulation of the nursing home industry: Soon after she started, the U.S. attorney’s office in Philadelphia launched an investigation of Keystone’s facility in Chester, Pa., which resulted in its closure. In April 1998, Coggins was hired as assistant general counsel of Genesis Health Ventures. She became GC of the spun-off Genesis Healthcare in December 2003. Personal: Coggins, who is single, lives in Narberth, Pa. In her scant free time, she enjoys gardening and jogging. Last Book and Movie: Life of Pi, by Yann Martel, and Seabiscuit.

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