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Philadelphia-based Post & Schell has continued its strategic plan to diversify its health care practice with the recent addition of former Duane Morris & Heckscher partner Robin Locke Nagele. In January, the firm hired Saul Ewing’s Edward Shay, who became the 15th member of the firm’s health care group, headed by chairman and CEO Brian Peters. Nagele, a partner, will make it 16. Peters said the firm wants not only to increase its lawyer count but also to bring in lawyers in niche practice areas, which, for health care, include regulatory, managed care, electronic billing, and fraud and abuse. Nagele’s niche will be in fraud and abuse and reimbursement cases. Shay’s legal focus is on managed-care provider-plan contractual relationships. With the federal government increasing the number of health care fraud investigations, Peters said, the firm has a number of provider clients that could use that type of legal service. According to Nagele, the area of fraud and abuse has grown out of increased government investigation into health care administration to recoup losses on Medicare and Medicaid. “We really wanted to expand what we already do with fraud and abuse and introduce the new angle of reimbursement issues,” Peters said. Nagele said that reimbursement, involving payer disputes, is a growing area of health care law and that more providers are challenging the decisions of managed health care, whereas before, providers hesitated for fear of repercussions. Joining Post & Schell, Nagele said, “brings a lot of different things from my past together.” After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1982, Nagele joined Sugarman & Denworth (now Sugarman & Associates), where she stayed for two years before moving to Litvin Blumberg Matusow & Young. At Litvin Blumberg, Nagele concentrated on plaintiffs’ work in medical malpractice, products liability and personal injury cases. She became a partner in 1989 and remained at the firm until 1993, when she started a family and decided to move to in-house work. In 1994, Nagele joined the legal department of Graduate Health Systems, which later was acquired by Allegheny Health Systems. After the company went bankrupt in 1998, she spent a brief transitional period working at Post & Schell and then moved to Duane Morris. Having worked in the health care field, Nagele said she is able to understand the pressures placed on health care executives and the motivations of the executives. “Having seen it and lived it from the inside has helped me understand the dynamics of the health care system,” Nagele said. Peters said he has known Nagele for several years through work in trade organizations as well as through handling cases together. He said he called her a few months ago to gauge her interest, and the two soon began talking about a possible move. At the time, Nagele said, she was not looking for a change. But she said she saw the position as a “tremendous opportunity for growth.” Nagele said the opportunity to build a national practice in health care litigation was one reason for making the switch. She was also impressed with Peters’ goals for Post & Schell. And Nagele said, “Brian Peters is a powerhouse in physician antitrust and medical staff litigation. I’m impressed with [him] and his vision of where he wants to take the health care group and the firm.” The opportunity to be involved with the national health care group’s health law educational and risk management services was another deciding factor, Nagele said. Through those services, said Nagele, who has written for health care and legal publications, she could write educational newsletters and provide educational opportunities for health care providers through national conferences. A Duane Morris spokeswoman said the firm wishes Nagele well in her new position.

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