Fast-changing niche demands deep study |

Fast-changing niche demands deep study

John Seelmeyer

Here’s what 23 years of experience in providing legal counsel to healthcare providers gets you: Kelly Testolin, a shareholder in the Reno-based law firm of Hale Lane, finds he must devote a quarter of his working hours that’s more than a full day each week merely keeping himself educated about the fastchanging field.

And then he shares what he’s learned.

In recent years, he’s taught nearly 60 workshops and seminars around the state.

His publications last year included a 400-page guide to state and federal laws about health care as extensive guides to new federal laws regulating the privacy of medical information.

His willingness to share his ongoing education was honored a few weeks ago by the Clark County Medical Society, which presented him with its first-ever President’s Award.

And Darlene Galleron, executive director of the Washoe County Medical Society, says, “It is very uncommon in this day and age for an experienced attorney like Kelly Testolin to devote so much time to the medical community.

When Kelly tells us something, we listen.”

Testolin learned to talk the language of hospitals in his first career as an assistant administrator of a 1,000-bed hospital at Long Beach, Calif.

Convinced even in the mid-1970s that the heavily regulated health-care industry would become even more so, Testolin started attending Loyola University School of Law’s evening sessions.

He passed the California bar in 1980 and spent the next 14 years as a partner in a firm that began with three lawyers but grew to a 25-person firm specializing in health-care.

Weary of California, Testolin and his wife moved to Reno in the 1993.

After commuting to California a while, Testolin joined Hale Lane in 1996.

When he came to Nevada, Testolin was the first lawyer in the state to specialize in the business of health-care.

Today, he says health-care generalists such as himself are increasingly rare as the field nationwide is dominated by lawyers who specialize in niches within the health-care business.

As a generalist, Testolin’s work has ranged from the creation of preferredprovider organizations to advising hospitals on protecting themselves against Medicare fraud.

He’s completed more than $1 million in corporate financing transactions and worked on more than a dozen mergers, acquisitions and consolidations in the health-care business.

At the same time, Testolin is quick to acknowledge, his status as a generalist means he needs to keep himself educated on the full breadth of health-care law.

And that law is fast-changing.

Just take a look at the influence of the Internet.

Assume, Testolin says, that a company in Nevada gathers health-care information from patients around the nation.

Which state has regulatory oversight? Within that thicket of regulation, however, Testolin takes pride in helping health-care providers develop strategies that allow them to meet consumers’ need while staying within regulatory bounds.

And he says he finds satisfaction in the thanks he receives from participants in his seminar thanks that was multiplied many times in the recent award from the Clark County Medical Society.