NASHVILLE, TN--(Marketwired - Nov 10, 2015) -  Patsy Powers and Richard W. Westling, attorneys with more than 50 years of combined healthcare law experience, have rejoined Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP as partners in the firm's Nashville office. Powers, a healthcare compliance attorney with widely recognized experience in federal and state fraud and abuse laws, returns to Waller from Vanderbilt University where she served as Senior Associate General Counsel and focused primarily on matters related to the medical center. Westling, who most recently served as First Assistant U.S. Attorney for the U.S. Attorney's office for the Eastern District of Louisiana, brings extensive experience in high-profile government investigations, white collar criminal defense and healthcare litigation.

"Government enforcement actions against healthcare providers have grown in recent years, and the addition of Patsy and Rich comes in direct response to our healthcare clients' need for greater support and more in-depth knowledge of government compliance and enforcement activities," said Waller chairman Matthew R. Burnstein. "Clients value Patsy's keen understanding of the myriad healthcare regulatory requirements providers face today and appreciate her straightforward approach to identifying solutions to complex compliance issues. Rich has a proven ability to use his experience in both the government and private practice to best position clients for the most successful outcomes as they work with the government."

Powers and Westling are the most recent additions to Waller's expanding Healthcare Compliance and Government Enforcement Defense Team, which includes more than 30 attorneys with experience gained in-house, at other top-ranked law firms, and in various U.S. Attorneys' Offices. In the last year, Waller has added 10 attorneys to this team, which focuses on healthcare compliance, government enforcement, internal and external investigations, and white collar defense.

The expansion of Waller's Healthcare Compliance and Government Enforcement Defense Team comes in response to the increased government enforcement actions brought against healthcare providers since the creation of the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT) -- a joint effort between the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In 2014, HHS recovered nearly $5 billion in government health program funds. HHS and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) are increasingly focused on developing approaches to monitor, limit and remediate such payments, all of which makes compliance more complex for providers.

As a Senior Associate General Counsel at Vanderbilt University, Powers focused on healthcare regulatory, compliance and operational issues and advised Vanderbilt University Medical Center on a variety of regulatory issues encountered by a large academic medical center. Prior to Vanderbilt, Powers was a partner in and a Practice Group Leader of Waller's Healthcare Compliance and Operations practice group, where she served as a trusted advisor to operators of hospitals and surgery centers on acquisitions, compliance investigations and disclosures. Powers earned her J.D. from the University of Tennessee and her B.S. from Vanderbilt University.

As the First Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana's U.S. Attorney's office, Westling supervised all aspects of the strategic and day-to-day activities of the U.S. Attorney's Office. Westling's extensive experience spans both public and private sectors. Prior to the U.S. Attorney's office, he was in private practice as a partner at Waller and Ober|Kaler, where he chaired the firm's national Government Investigations and White Collar Defense practice. He also served as the General Counsel of People's Health Network, a Medicare Advantage organization. Westling spent the earlier part of his career in a variety of roles with the U.S. Department of Justice in D.C. and New Orleans. Westling earned his J.D., cum laude, from Tulane University Law School and his B.A. from Sewanee - The University of the South. 

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