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2012 Legal Elite Profile: HEALTH LAW

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SHERRI MEARNS MATSON
Children’s Health System Inc./Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters Inc.
Norfolk

NewsTitle:  Vice president/general counsel
Other legal specialties:  Corporate; transactional
Birthplace:  Corpus Christi, Texas
Education:  College of William and Mary; bachelor’s degree in English; University of Virginia, master’s degree in drama; College of William and Mary Marshall Wythe School of Law, law degree
Spouse:  John P. Matson 
Children:  J. Brent Matson, 35; Lindsay Matson Tachell, 33; Katie Mearns Parker, 31
Hobbies:  Gardening; playing piano 
First job as a lawyer: Working for Williams Mullen in Richmond
Fan of: Any form of theater production
Favorite vacation spot:  The Caribbean island St. Martin
Recently read book: “Wolf Hall” by Hilary Mantel
Career mentor:  Stan Baldwin, former general counsel for Amerigroup Corp.

What should be done to ensure that children have health insurance coverage?
 “The number of children who are uninsured is relatively small in comparison with the adult population because nearly all children today can obtain some form of coverage, if not through a parent’s commercial plan then through the SCHIP [State Children’s Health Insurance Program] or Medicaid programs. However, the challenge is achieving and maintaining adequate funding for these programs so that children will continue to have access to care when and where they need it.”         
 
What unusual legal issues do you encounter as a lawyer for children’s hospital?
“Parental consent issues can become very complex, especially when families are in dispute.  Obtaining informed consent for care can be challenging when a difficult family situation exists.  The goal is to help medical providers navigate the legal requirements and avoid barriers to care.   Regarding managed-care contracting, it can be challenging to get insurance companies to understand that pediatric clinical-care protocols can require reimbursement levels and payment rules which recognize the difference between pediatric and adult care delivery.” 
 


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