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Health Law

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Peter Mellette

Mellette PC

Title: President and managing shareholder

Other legal specialties: Administrative law

Birthplace: Richmond

Education: Bachelor’s degree, Dartmouth College; law degree, University of Richmond

Spouse: Kerry Mellette, a nonprofit executive and fund development consultant

Children: Kelsey Mellette, a lawyer who works on Capitol Hill, and Margot Mellette, who is a second-year student at the University of Virginia School of Medicine

Hobbies: Racquetball, watching tennis, reading

First job as a lawyer: Associate, Crews, Hancock & Dunn, Richmond

Fan of: Live music

Favorite vacation spot: Wherever my family can be together

Recently read book: “When Breath Becomes Air: What Makes Life Worth Living in the Face of Death?” By Dr. Paul Kalanithi

Career mentor: Thomas F. Hancock III

How will Medicaid expansion in Virginia affect your clients? My firm’s clients include individuals and practitioner groups with contract, licensing and payment issues; freestanding imaging and surgery centers seeking to expand; and hospitals, health systems and long-term care providers with a variety of operational issues. Medicaid expansion will provide previously unavailable funding for many patients seeking care. It may encourage use of preventive services and reduce unnecessary hospitalizations. Medicaid expansion will also increase provider staffing costs and the likelihood of payment disputes with DMAS (the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services).

Does the uncertain future of the Affordable Care Act pose a problem for your clients? Not that I have noticed. The ACA intricacies and modifications continue to generate legal questions, but ACA insurance coverage and related rules are likely to continue in the short term. My clients are more likely to be affected by the issues that arise from dealing with multiple managed-care payors, each operating under its own rules and each requiring providers to increase staff to manage claim denials.

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