Christianna L. Finnern
Interacting with government is an art, and as with any art, experience is key to being effective.
Contact: P /612.604.6435E /email@example.com
University of Iowa College of Law, J.D., 2001
- Articles Editor, Journal of Corporation Law, 2000-2001
- Member, Journal of Corporation Law, 1999-2000
- Van Oosterhout Moot Court Competition, 1999-2000
Wartburg College, B.A., summa cum laude, 1998
U.S. District Court, D. Minn., 2005
The regulatory and administrative process can seem like a huge impediment to the goal of serving your customers and patients, whether in health care, insurance, or other regulated industries. I represent clients as they deal with federal and state regulatory compliance issues and provide counseling to proactively address issues before they arise.
I don’t see my clients as the current project, and then moving on to the next. I love getting to know each client’s business, weighing their strengths and weaknesses, and figuring out how to navigate the current and future landscape to help them grow and expand. When I do internal investigations or a contested case hearing, I use my background in litigation to dig into the facts, do discovery, review documents and interview employees to piece together not only what happened, but also to prevent any further issues down the line.
A Groundbreaking Moment in My Career
I had recently been named shareholder at the firm in the litigation practice, but the economy was still recovering from the recession and I wasn’t as busy as I like to be. Together, my partner, David Aafedt, and I decided to create a new practice area focused exclusively on health care regulatory compliance and I wholly threw myself into it. I learned that there's no magic to developing a practice like that; just years of hard work, persistence, and the support of a great team.
Practicing Health Law
In the Health Law space I represent providers and health care businesses in a variety of capacities, including litigation and enforcement proceedings, health care licensing board investigations and compliance and regulatory matters. Often clients rely on me to serve as outside general counsel to health care professionals and practice groups, and advise them on, issues such as state and federal privacy laws, including data breaches; fraud, waste and abuse, anti-kickback and Stark; credentialing, privileging and peer review processes; employment issues; and even buying and selling practices. I also partner with health care providers and practice groups to conduct internal compliance investigations in an effort to identify potential compliance risks, and ensure that appropriate procedures and training are in place moving forward.
I also have unique expertise representing health care companies in connection with state involuntary receivership matters.
I place particular emphasis on the behavioral health industry, including state and federal regulatory compliance considerations and 42 CFR Part 2 privacy considerations.
- Represented a large specialty provider group in connection with its acquisition of a complementary provider group.
- Served as regulatory counsel for a behavioral health care provider in connection with its acquisition by a private equity sponsor.
- Conducted internal investigations for a large specialty provider group regarding potential billing and coding issues, reviewing and revising internal policies and procedures to ensure compliance.
- Conducted internal investigations for a large specialty provider group regarding disruptive physician issues, drug diversion issues and physician fitness for duty concerns.
- Conducted more than twenty internal investigations and record-keeping audits for large behavioral health providers regarding state and federal regulatory compliance issues, including diversion.
- Represented a behavioral health provider in connection with an administrative license revocation appeal. Successfully resolved the license revocation appeal through informal resolution on favorable terms to the provider.
- Represented a behavioral health provider in challenging the imposition of an order of conditional license through a writ of certiorari appeal to the Minnesota Court of Appeals, resulting in the reversal of several challenged citations and remand to the Commissioner of Human Services for reconsideration of the appropriate action.
- Represented a health care real estate investment trust in connection with an involuntary receivership action brought by the Minnesota Department of Health against the operator of a nursing facility. Negotiated a satisfactory resolution that allowed for the nursing home to continue operating without having to relocate its residents.
- Represented a health care real estate investment trust in connection with an involuntary receivership action brought by the Minnesota Department of Health against the operator of three nursing facilities. Assisted the health care real estate investment trust in marketing the facilities for sale to other nursing home operators.
- Represented many licensed professionals before boards of medicine, nursing, pharmacy and social work in several different jurisdictions.
- Negotiated with numerous health insurers to ensure that providers are receiving the statutorily and contractually correct reimbursement.
- Challenged a six figure overpayment demand from a health insurer, demonstrating that the extrapolation method used was fundamentally flawed, which resulted in the insurer withdrawing the overpayment demand in its entirety.
"Dream Team" Leaders in Health Care Award
Minnesota Business, 2014
Practicing Regulatory & Government Relations
Much of my time is spent representing clients before legislative bodies, and state and federal regulators. My experience includes advising clients in conjunction with their oversight by, or interaction with, the Minnesota Office of Attorney General, Minnesota Office of the Governor, Minnesota Legislature, Department of Administration, Department of Commerce, Department of Health, Department of Human Services, as well as the Boards of Pharmacy, Medical Practice, and Nursing, among others. In addition, I also have unique expertise representing health care companies in connection with state involuntary receivership matters.
- Represented several professional fundraisers in connection with Minnesota Attorney General civil investigative demands and enforcement actions.
- Advocated at the legislature for behavioral health licensing rules to be codified into statute thereby eliminating the cumbersome rule-making process and paving the way for more efficient legislative action and changes.
- Represented a health care REIT in connection with defeating certain proposed legislation that would have negatively impacted the rights of owners and operators in nursing home involuntary receivership actions.
Also experienced in
Mergers & Acquisitions
Attorney General Investigations & Enforcement Actions
Regulatory Audits, Investigations & Enforcement Actions
Fraud & Abuse Audits and Investigations
State & Federal Regulatory Compliance
Health Care Litigation
Health Licensing Board Defense
State & Federal Health Care Provider and Entity Licensing
Honors & Awards
Minnesota Super Lawyers®
Minnesota Super Lawyers®, 2008-2016
Under 40 Hot List, 2016
Local Litigation Star, 2016-2018
Future Star, 2010-2015
"Dream Team" Leaders in Health Care Award
Minnesota Business, 2014
40 Under Forty
Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, 2014
Up & Coming Attorney
Minnesota Lawyer, 2011
Associations & Memberships
Women's Health Leadership Trust
Board of Directors, 2014-2017
Board of Directors, 2011-2016
Hope Rocks Committee, 2010-2011
Women’s Foundation of Minnesota
Corporate Sponsorship Committee, 2011-2014
Medical Devices Group
Advisory Board, 2013-2014
University of Minnesota Minority Mentorship Program
Minnesota Women Lawyers
Development Committee, 2010-2012
Care Providers of Minnesota
Member, Regulatory Forum Committee
American Bar Association
Federal Bar Association
Minnesota State Bar Association
Ramsey County Bar Association
American Health Lawyers Association
American Society for Pharmacy Law
Minnesota Pharmacists Association
Minnesota Child Care Association