Loyola School of Law in the News – Ryan Meade, Larry Singer

The following article about Ryan Meade, Director of Regulatory Compliance Studies at Loyola’s Beazley Institute for Health Law and Policy, was published in January in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.

Ready for compliance at Loyola

By Jack Silverstein
Law Bulletin staff writer

Say “Obamacare” to a random American, and you’re bound to get a passionate, perhaps even knowledgeable, response.

Say “health-care compliance” to that same person, and you may not encounter much more than a yawn or a confused brow furrowing.

But health-care providers know just how important understanding compliance is for their businesses. Compliance officers do too.

Loyola University Chicago School of Law wants its students in that second group. And the school hired Ryan D. Meade to help make it happen.

A founding partner at Meade, Roach & Annulis LLP and an adjunct professor at Loyola for 15 years, Meade will join Loyola’s Beazley Institute for Health Law and Policy as director of regulatory compliance studies.

This means showing students just how important the word “compliance” could be to their future.

“Loyola recognizes that the legal environment today for health-care organizations is heavily dependent on regulatory compliance,” Meade said. “We want to be a center for academic excellence in meeting the new realities in health law. And that will involve expanded course offerings in regulatory compliance.”

Under the Affordable Care Act, all health-care providers are required by law to have a compliance program to provide organizational infrastructure to help companies comply with laws and regulations.

Each new regulation is incorporated into the compliance program, and the compliance officer leads these ever-evolving programs.

Typical areas monitored by a health-care compliance program include billing protocol, the sharing of patient information and the financial interactions between different types of health-care providers such as a family physician and a specialty doctor.

Mandatory programs are a significant change from the days when implementation was at the provider’s discretion and was only required as a response to a violation.

With mandatory compliance programs comes an increase in the market for compliance officers.

That’s where Loyola comes in.

Currently, the school offers two degrees in health law: a master’s of jurisprudence in health law and a master of laws in health law. They also offer a J.D. certificate in health law.

“The health law program is the largest specialty program in the school and one of the highest rated health law programs in the country,” said Lawrence E. Singer, director of the Beazley Institute.

All told, Singer said, the school offers about 20 health law courses on campus with another 30 or so online. Eight of those on-campus courses relate to some aspect of health-care regulatory compliance with program expansion planned this year.

Meade will teach four courses: health care payment and policy; medical records, billing and coding; special topics in health-care compliance; and administrative law and health-care regulation.

His time on the job will be broken into three parts: scholarship and outreach (such as speaking at health conferences), teaching and administrative tasks.

Meade cites Medicare, Medicaid, privacy of health information and research as his specialty areas.

“I’ve also done quite a bit of work in clinical research regulatory compliance which involves the rules protecting patients enrolled in research studies, the reimbursement for services during research and complying with federal grants associated with those studies,” Meade said.

These are all qualifications that, to Singer, made Meade an easy choice for the position.

“There is really a strong need for compliance professionals, and so bringing Ryan onto the faculty and staff is our effort to really strengthen our program in the compliance arena,” Singer said.

By creating Meade’s position and hiring him full time, Loyola is hoping to open their students to the possibility of a career in the expanding and challenging world of compliance.

“It’s a really dynamic field,” Singer said, “and one in which Loyola is staking a leadership in.”

It’s a field with rapid growth, and that includes Illinois.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Illinois is in the top quarter of states in compliance positions and annual mean wage. The Chicago metropolitan area alone had 3,990 compliance officers as of May 2012, the ninth most among United States metropolitan areas.

Illinois’ annual mean wage in compliance is $72,810. The highest salary is in Connecticut at $93,020.

The boom in compliance positions has been widely reported in banking, most notably when, in late 2013, JPMorgan Chase announced the hiring of a compliance “SWAT team.”

Less flashy, but equally important as the compliance reactions to banking and credit cards, is the increase of health-care compliance officers due in large part to the increase in regulations with the Affordable Care Act.

“That was a 2,000-page bill,” Singer said about the ACA. “It will spawn thousands of pages of new regulations that health-care providers have to comply with. Its compliance officers that will assure that the organization is actually following those laws. That’s their job.”

It’s an area Meade is excited to instruct.

“The most enjoyable part of my career has been teaching,” Meade said. “So when the position opened and it was posted, I applied. And I couldn’t be more delighted.”

Copyright 2014 Law Bulletin Publishing Company. Reprinted with permission.

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