Robert Coffield, Flaherty Sensabaugh Bonasso PLLC Photo

Robert L. Coffield

Member

Education

  • J.D., West Virginia University College of Law (1993)
  • B.A., cum laude, English, Bethany College (1988)

Admissions

  • United States District Court Southern District of West Virginia
  • West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals

Overview

Bob Coffield has more than 25 years of experience in health care law. He counsels hospitals, physicians, physician groups, health technology companies, rural health clinics, home health providers, dialysis providers and health care trade organizations. Bob has the unique ability to merge a deep knowledge and understanding of the technical, regulatory and business aspects of health care with a practical approach to helping clients achieve favorable results.

“I have a willingness and curiosity to understand the complex legal and business issues of the health care regulatory environment to help my clients.”

Bob’s vast experience includes health regulatory compliance and litigation, certificate of need, acquisitions, mergers, joint ventures and other business transactions, drafting and negotiating provider service and business agreements, provider billing, fraud issues and insurance payor disputes, as well as other state and federal health law issues. In addition, Bob assists healthcare clients in responding to HIPAA privacy and security breach investigations, health record or data audits, and payor overpayment demands, including Medicare, Medicaid and private payors.

Bob also handles health care technology and health data issues, including privacy, security, HIPAA and HITECH compliance, implementation and operation of electronic health record (EHR) systems and electronic medical record (EMR) software and the emerging legal issues surrounding Health 2.0 technologies and health care social media. In addition, he regularly provides commentary on health law and health technology-related industry news and information via Twitter at @BobCoffield.

Bob is also skilled in providing general corporate, business, transactional, contract review and negotiation for non-healthcare clients, including real property, oil and gas, land and mineral owners, and Marcellus and Utica well pad agreement and leases.

Outside of work, Bob works tirelessly to create a more positive attitude about West Virginia through his personal and business connections to non-native West Virginians, social media, and his work with groups like Create West Virginia, a West Virginia nonprofit, promoting new economic thinking, entrepreneurship, education, technology innovation, diversity and the importance of quality of place.

Affiliations

Professional Involvement

  • American Bar Foundation
    • Health Care Law Group
  • American Health Lawyers Association
  • Co-Chair, Privacy and Security Compliance and Enforcement Health Information Technology Affinity Group (2006 - Present)
  • West Virginia Health Information Network
    • Board Member, appointed to a four-year term by Governor Joe Manchin (2006 - 2010)
  • West Virginia Health Information Security and Privacy Collaborative Project
    • Committee Member, Legal Working Group (2006 - 2007)
  • West Virginia eHealth Initiative
    • Steering Committee Member (2005 - Present)
  • West Virginia Chamber of Commerce
    • Economic Development Committee (2006 - Present)
  • West Virginia Bar Association
  • Kanawha County Bar Association

Community Involvement

  • Create West Virginia
    • Board Member (2010)
  • Charleston Montessori School, Founding Member (2010)

Experience

Representative Legal Work

  • Represented a West Virginia hospital seeking a certificate of need involving the development of a comprehensive cancer center program.
  • Represented a West Virginia nonprofit hospital in negotiations with a for-profit hospital system to sell its facility in return for the construction of a new $80 million health care facility to serve the local community.
  • Defended and settled a United States Department of Justice investigation involving two hospitals who allegedly allocated the market by dividing cancer and open heart related services to strengthen the provision of services in a rural setting and addressed related state action doctrine issues involving the West Virginia Health Care Authority's certificate of need regulatory scheme.
  • Represented a group of West Virginia hospitals in a class-action suit who were alleged to be overcharging patients for copies of medical records under the statutory structure outlined in the West Virginia Code.
  • Represented and advised multiple hospitals and physician groups on implementation of and compliance with the Privacy and Security Standards under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).
  • Represented a national home health care provider in a $4.5 million dollar acquisition of a West Virginia rural home health agency servicing a six-county service area.
  • Represented a national home health care provider in acquiring a certificate of need to acquire a West Virginia home health care provider for $4.5 million dollars.
  • Represented a national home health care provider in for-profit and non-profit joint venture acquisition of hospital-based home health services.
  • Represented and advised Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) on various state and federal issues involving Medicare and Medicaid quality and utilization review.
  • Represented and advised an affiliated academic medical practice on privacy and security compliance, development of model policy and procedures and transitional issues under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).
  • Represented a regional emergency medicine provider on business and transactional issues, including formation of West Virginia entities, negotiation of various agreements and regulatory compliance matters.
  • Represented a regional correctional medicine company on various litigation and compliance-related matters, including compliance with the Privacy and Security Standards under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).
  • Sought exemption from certificate of need review for a mobile ultrasound service provider in West Virginia.
  • Represented physician in Medicaid-related audit, investigation and settlement on billing and reimbursement issues.
  • Represented a West Virginia ophthalmologist in the acquisition of an ophthalmology practice and eye care center.
  • Represented nurse before the West Virginia Board of Registered Nurse on licensure and impaired provider issues.
  • Assisted various hospitals, physicians and other health care clients with internal risk management and compliance investigations.
  • Assist hospitals, physicians and insurance companies in seeking advisory opinion on proposed projects involving certificate of need approval.

Insights

Speaking Engagements

  • HIPAA, Medical Record Compliance and the E-Revolution, Medical Education Services Seminar, Charleston, West Virginia, June 25, 2001.
  • Overview of HIPAA Privacy Standards and West Virginia Prompt Payment Act, CME Presentation Mercer County Medical Society, Bluefield, West Virginia, October 15, 2001.
  • Administrative Simplification Section under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, Lorman Educational Services, Charleston, West Virginia, December 12, 2001.
  • HIPAA: The Background and Basics of Administrative Simplification, Mountain State Blue Cross Blue Shield Group Health Plan HIPAA Awareness Meeting, Charleston, West Virginia, June 5, 2002.
  • HIPAA, Medical Record Compliance and the E-Revolution, Medical Education Services Seminar, Charleston, West Virginia, June 18, 2002.
  • The Impact of HIPAA on West Virginia Physicians: Basic Understanding of the Standard Transactions, Privacy and Security Standards, Health Care Summit 2002, West Virginia State Medical Association, The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, August 24, 2002.
  • HIPAA: The Impact on Physicians, Thomas Memorial Hospital  Medical Staff, Charleston, West Virginia, November 12, 2002.
  • HIPAA: The Impact on Physicians, Raleigh County Medical Society, Beckley, West Virginia, November 24, 2002 and December 14, 2002.
  • State Law and the New HIPAA Standards in West Virginia, Lorman Educational Services Seminar, Charleston, West Virginia, December 12, 2002.
  • HIPAA: The Impact on Physicians, Saint Francis Hospital, Charleston, West Virginia, December 17, 2002.
  • HIPAA Compliance: Understanding and Implementing the Security and Privacy Regulations, Lorman Educational Services, Robert L. Coffield (Speaker), Charleston, West Virginia, March 27, 2003.
  • Implementing HIPAA for the Small Medical Practice, BRIM and Marsh, Inc. - Loss Prevention Seminar, Charleston, West Virginia, April 14, 2003.
  • HIPAA: Practicing Good Privacy, Bluefield Regional Medical Center Physician Medical Staff, Bluefield, West Virginia, May 14, 2003.
  • HIPAA: Understanding the Impact on Law Firms, Southern & Northern Chapters of the WV American Association Legal Nurse Consultants, June 5, 2003.
  • Risk Management & Legal Issues for Physicians in West Virginia, Bluefield Regional Medical Center  Physician Medical Staff, Bluefield, West Virginia, September 20, 2003.
  • HIPAA: Practicing Good Privacy and the Impact on Access Rights by Law Enforcement, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner SART Conference, Marshall University Forensic Science Center, Huntington, West Virginia, October 14, 2003.
  • Mock Trial & Case Study: HIPAA, Privacy & Confidentiality Issues in West Virginia, West Virginia Office Managers Association, Mountaineer Conference Center, Chester, West Virginia, November 7, 2003.
  • Mock Trial & Case Study: HIPAA, Privacy & Confidentiality Issues in West Virginia, Physician Risk Management Seminar _ Marsh USA, Inc. and Board of Risk Management, Huntington and Charleston, West Virginia, November 12 & 13, 2003.
  • HIPAA's Impact On West Virginia Providers and Health Plans: Privacy, Security and the Preemption of West Virginia Law, Lorman Educational Services Seminar, Charleston, West Virginia, December 11, 2003.
  • Breaches of Confidentiality - A West Virginia Mock Trial, Thirteenth Annual Winter Conference, West Virginia Society For Respiratory Care, Canaan Valley, West Virginia, February 6, 2004.
  • Mock Trial & Case Study: HIPAA, Privacy & Confidentiality Issues in West Virginia, Morgantown Chapter - West Virginia Office Managers Association, Morgantown, West Virginia, March 3, 2004.
  • Confidentiality and Privacy of Medical Information in West Virginia, Lorman Educational Services, Robert L. Coffield and Edward C. Martin (Speakers), Charleston, West Virginia, August 31, 2004.
  • The Impact of HIPAA, FERPA and the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 on Higher Education, Marshall University Graduate School of Education, LS745 Higher Education Law, South Charleston, West Virginia, July 11, 2005.
  • Confidentiality and Privacy of Medical Information in West Virginia, Lorman Educational Services, Robert L. Coffield and Edward C. Martin (Speakers), Charleston, West Virginia, August 25, 2005.
  • Privacy & Informational Compliance Issues: HIPAA, FACTA, US PATRIOT Act and Workplace Legal Issues, West Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants 14th Annual Conference for Industry & Governmental Professionals, Charleston, West Virginia, September 23, 2005.
  • Confidentiality and Privacy of Medical Information in West Virginia, Lorman Educational Services, Robert L. Coffield and Edward C. Martin (Speakers), Charleston, West Virginia, August 3, 2006.
  • Healthcare Blogging  - Facts &  Issues Panel: Understanding Size, Influence and Rules of the Healthcare Blogosphere, Healthcare Blogging Summit 2006, Panel Discussion: Dmitriy Kruglyak (Moderator) Publisher, The Medical Blog Network; Fard Johnmar, MA, Founder, Envision Solutions LLC and Author: The Emerging Healthcare Blogosphere, What Is It & Why Does It Matter?; Robert L. Coffield, JD: Member, Flaherty, Sensabaugh & Bonasso, PLLC; First healthcare law blogger; John Mack, MA, MS, MPhil, President, VirSci Corporation and Publisher, Pharma Marketing Network; and Mike Smith, President, Michael Smith Business Development, Washington DC, December 11, 2006.
  • Healthcare Blogging and Web 2.0: Understanding the Basics and Exploring the Impact on the Healthcare Industry, Hospitals and Health Systems Law Institute, American Health Lawyers Association, Robert L. Coffield, Las Vegas, NV, February 5-7, 2007.
  • The Value of Blogging In Business, Charleston Area Alliance _ CEO Roundtable, Robert L. Coffield, Matthew Ballard and Skip Lineberg, Charleston, West Virginia, April 4, 2007.
  • West Virginia's Prompt Payment Act and Other Health Law Developments for West Virginia Hospitals, Revenue Cycle Meeting for the West Virginia chapter of the Healthcare Financial Management Association, Robert L. Coffield, Sutton, West Virginia, April 9, 2007.
  • Open Healthcare - Learning to Live in the Brave New World: Openness, Controversy and Crisis Management in Blogs and Social Media, Healthcare Blogging Summit 2007, Panel Discussion: Dmitriy Kruglyak (Moderator): CEO, Trusted.MD Network; Matthew Holt: Author & Consultant, The Health Care Blog; Nicholas Jacobs, FACHE: CEO, Windber Medical Center & Research Institute; Robert L. Coffield, JD: Member, Flaherty, Sensabaugh & Bonasso, PLLC; Elisa Cooper, Whistleblower; Las Vegas, Nevada, April 30, 2007.
  • Privacy and Security Enforcement: Advice on Federal Civil Enforcement Actions under HIPAA, West Virginia Health Information Management Association Annual Meeting, Robert L. Coffield, Charleston, West Virginia, May 14, 2007.
  • Confidentiality and Privacy of Medical Information in West Virginia, Lorman Educational Services, Robert L. Coffield and Edward C. Martin (Speakers), Charleston, West Virginia, August 6, 2007.
  • Health Care Information Privacy and Security Monitoring, Audits and Investigations, How to avoid an investigation and what you should expect if the state or federal officials call., Lorman Educational Services, Robert L. Coffield, Michael T. Harmon, Terri Barrett and Jack L. Shaffer, Jr., Charleston, West Virginia, November 13, 2007.
  • Medical Identity Theft: Preying on Patients, Panel Discussion, World Healthcare Innovation and Technology Congress 2008 (WHIT v4.0), Washington, DC, December 8-10, 2008.
  • Consumer-Driven Healthcare, Annual Meeting - West Virginia Chapter Healthcare Financial Management Association, Charleston, WV, January 15, 2009.
  • The Legal Liabilities and Policy Implications for Health IT Adoption, co-speaker with Rod Piechowski, Senior Associate Director for Policy, American Hospital Association and Director, National Association of Health Information Technology, World Health Care Congress - 2nd Annual Leadership Summit on Consumer Connectivity, Carlsbad, CA, February 23-24, 2009.
  • AHLA Teleconference: HIPAA Privacy Regulation Fundamentals -  An Introductory Course, co-speaker with Phyllis F. Granade and Rebecca Williams, American Health Lawyers Association, May 13, 2009.
  • Panel I  - What Will Health IT Look Like in 5 or 10 Years?, Testimony and Panel Discussion with Daniel J. Weitzner, Director, Technology and Society, World Wide Web Consortium and Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, THINK-Health, The Future of Personal Health Records and Consumer-Facing Health Information Technology, Testimony before the Subcommittee on Privacy, Confidentiality and Security, National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics (NCVHS), Washington, DC, May 20, 2009.
  • Generation Charleston Professional Development: Web 2.0 Summer School, Charleston, WV, June 2009.
  • PHRs, Health 2.0 and the Impact of Social Networking on Consumer-Driven Healthcare, co-speaker with Jud DeLoss, American Health Lawyers Association, 2009 Annual Meeting and In House Counsel Program, Washington, DC, June 30, 2009.
  • Getting the Most Out of Advancing Technology, Keynote, West Virginia Primary Care Association Annual Meeting, Oglebay Park, Wheeling, WV, August 5, 2009.
  • Health Topics to Make Your Head Spin: Spotting Important Health Law Issues Every Practicing Attorney Should Know, co-speaker with Alaina Crislip, 123rd Annual Meeting of The West Virginia Bar Association, The Homestead, Hot Springs, VA, August 21, 2009.
  • HIPAA Goes HITECH, West Virginia Compliance Officers Meeting, Charleston, WV September 25, 2009.
  • Staying On The Good Side of HIPAA: Safe and Ethical Blogging Practices, Panel Discussion with Mike Sevilla, Rob Lamberts and Debra Farber, Blog World New Media Expo 2009, Las Vegas, NV, October 15, 2009.
  • Grassroots Health Care: Web 2.0, Social media and Viral Advocacy, Annual Tobacco Control Advocacy Conference, Charleston, WV, January 20, 2010.
  • February 4, 2010 -- HIPAA Goes HITECH: The State of Electronic Health Information, Southern West Virginia Chapter of American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants, Charleston, WV.
  • February 25-26, 2010 -- Hospital's Friend or Foe: The Age of Social Media and Health 2.0, co-speaker with Jody Joiner, American Health Lawyers Association, 2010 Hospitals and Health Systems Law Institute, Miami, FL.
  • March 18, 2010 -- Medical Records Law (Consumer-Driven Health Care: HITECH Breach Notification, Health 2.0 Social Media and PHRs), Co-Speaking with Michael Harmon, James Thomas and Sallie Milam, Lorman Educational Services, Charleston, WV.
  • March 19, 2010 -- Health Care Reform Update Panel Discussion (Joe Letnaunchyn, CEO of WVHA; Sallie Milam, Executive Director of WVHIN; Mark Morgan, CFO Huntington Internal Medicine Group) and Ethics: HIPAA Law Firm Policies Business Associate Agreement Requirements, Health Care Law 2010, Co-Sponsored by the Law and Medicine Committee of the West Virginia State Bar, WVU Medical Center, Charleston, WV.
  • April 8, 2010 -- Bethany College Communications Week, Panel Discussion sponsored by Integrated Marketing Class, Panel Discussion on Social Media and Networking, Bethany, WV.
  • May 4, 2010 --  The Intersection of Social Media and Human Subjects Research, teleconference co-sponsored by the American Health Lawyers Association's Health Information Technology, Life Sciences and Teaching Hospitals and Academic Medical Centers Practice Groups, Moderator:  Karl A. Thallner, Jr., Reed Smith LLP, Panelists: Robert L. Coffield, Flaherty Sensabaugh Bonasso PLLC, Naomi Halpern, Esquire, Frommer Lawrence & Haug, and Laura Odwazny, Senior Attorney, Public Health Division, Office for Human Research Protections, Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Rockville, MD.
  • May 13, 2010 - HIPAA 2 HITECH Panel Discussion,  West Virginia Chapter of Healthcare Financial Management Association (WVHFMA) 2010 Spring Education Program, Stonewall Resort, Roanoke, WV.
  • May 21, 2010 -- HIPAA Goes HITECH: Update on Health Care Laws for Legal Nurse Consultants, West Virginia Bar Association Legal Nurse Consultant Division,  Spring Conference, Charleston Marriott, Charleston, WV.
  • May 25, 2010 -- Empowered Marketing and Health Care Social Media, West Virginia Critical Access Hospital Network, Co-Presenters: Jeff James, Mythology Marketing; Brandon Holmes WELD, LLC, West Virginia Hospital Association, Charleston, WV.
  • June 16, 2010 -- Social Media: The Opportunities and the Challenges in Healthcare, teleconference sponsored by the American Health Lawyers Association's Health Information Technology Practice Group, Moderator: Linda S. Ross, Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP, Detroit, MI; Panelists: Robert L. Coffield, Flaherty Sensabaugh Bonasso PLLC, Charleston, WV; Daniel S. Goldman, Legal Counsel at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.
  • June 30, 2010 -- After HITECH, How Might Health Information Exchange Change Our Lives? American Health Lawyers Association 2010 Annual Meeting, Practice Group Luncheon Co-Sponsored by Health Information Technology and Life Sciences,  Panel Discussion: Robert L. Coffield, Flaherty Sensabaugh Bonasso PLLC; Matthew Holt, Health Care Strategist and Author of The Health Care Blog, San Francisco, CA; Jacqueline Studer, General Counsel Health Information Technology GE Healthcare, Barrington, IL and Moderator: Rebecca L. Williams, RN, JD, Davis Wright Tremaine, LLP, Seattle, WA.

Publications

  • State Healthcare Privacy Law Survey (American Health Lawyers Association, July 2013)
  • Who is reading what you write?, by Molly Merrill (quoted in article), Healthcare IT News published in partnership with HIMSS, May 6, 2010.
  • Social Media and Physicians, by Bonnie Darves (quoted in article), New England Journal of Medicine: Career Resources for Physicians, March 2010.
  • Risky Business: Treating Tweeting the Symptoms of Social Media, American Health Lawyers Association _ AHLA Connections Magazine, Robert L. Coffield and Jody Joiner, Volume 14, No. 3, March 2010.
  • Willful Neglect Is Difficult to Pin Down, but Can Result in Enormous HIPAA Penalties, (quoted in article), AIS Report on Patient Privacy, reprinted on AIS Health Business Daily, February 12, 2010.
  • Written Testimony: Panel I _ What Will Health IT Look Like in 5 or 10 Years? The Future of Personal Health Records and Consumer-Facing Health Information Technology, Testimony before the Subcommittee on Privacy, Confidentiality and Security, National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics (NCVHS), Washington, DC, May 20, 2009.
  • Hacker says he stole confidential medical data on 8 million Virginia residents, by Molly Merrill (quoted in article), Healthcare IT News, May 6, 2009.
  • When Moving Records and Practices, Know Your Legal Obligations (pdf version), by Elizabeth Stump (quoted in article), Neurology Today, March 19, 2009.
  • Two Aspirin And Tweet Me In The Morning: How Twitter, Facebook, And Other Social Media Are Reshaping Health Care (pdf version), by Carleen Hawn (quoted in article), Health Affairs, March/April, 2009.
  • The Rise of the Personal Health Record: Panacea or Pitfall for Health Information, American Health Lawyers Association _ Health Lawyers News, Robert L. Coffield and Jud E. DeLoss, Volume 12, Number 10, October 2008.
  • Looking at Legality: Medical Records - New questions and concerns are popping up around the legalities of EHRs and PHRs, by Beth Walsh (quoted in article), August 11, 2008.
  • The Wisdom of Patients: Health Care Meets Online Social Media, by Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, M.A., M.H.S.A. THINK-Health (contributed to article), prepared for California Health Care Foundation, April 2008.
  • Social Media Notebook: Are Physician Blogs in a Legal and Ethical Twilight Zone?, MD Net Guide, Fard Johnmar, Envision Solutions in collaboration with Robert Coffield, July 2007.
  • Statutory Liens for Health Care Providers: The Effectiveness of Laws Allowing Providers to Assert Liens on Settlements or Judgments from Third Party Tortfeasors, Health Law Section, American Bar Association, Alaina N. Stout and edited by Robert L. Coffield, Publication Expected 2006.
  • The Impact of the Administrative Simplification Compliance Act:  Extra Time for Physicians to Comply with the Transactions and Codes Set Standards, West Virginia State Medical Association (www.wvsma.com) August 2002.
  • The Background and Basics of Administrative Simplification: The Impact of HIPAA on West Virginia Physicians, West Virginia State Medical Association (www.wvsma.com), June 2002.
  • The HIPAA Privacy Standards: Practical Guidance on Identifying Business Associates (Health Lawyers - HIPAA Drill Down Series), American Health Lawyers Association, Robert L. Coffield and edited by Kristen B. Rosati, March 2002.
  • Real Property: Leasing Land for Hunting and Other Recreational Uses, Cooperative Extension Services, West Virginia University; R.D. Publication No. 726; January 1985, Thomas J. Allen, Dennis K. Smith and Anthony Ferris; Updated: August 1997, Robert L. Coffield, David L. Yaussy and Timothy L. Pahl.
  • Real Property: Landowners' Rights and Responsibilities in West Virginia, Division of Resource Management, College of Agriculture, Forestry and Consumer Services, West Virginia University; R.D. Publication No. 702; January 1985, Dan Doyle, Anthony Ferris and Dennis K. Smith; Updated: August 1997, Robert L. Coffield, David L. Yaussy and Timothy L. Pahl.
  • The Benefits and Protections of Reporting and Disclosure Policies, Robert L. Coffield. Second Annual West Virginia Health Care Conference, Charleston, WV 1996.
  • Termination and Abandonment of Oil & Gas Leases: Duties, Responsibilities and Deep Pockets (A Survey of Statutory and Common Law in Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia), H.L. Snyder and Robert L. Coffield.  Eastern Mineral Law Foundation, 1996.
  • Mechanic's Liens For Land Surveyors (A Review of the West Virginia Mechanic's Lien Statute & 1994 Legislative Amendment), Philip A. Reale and Robert L. Coffield, 1994.

Honors & Awards

  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • Listed, The Best Lawyers in America©, Health Care Law (2008 - 2022)
    • 2014 - Lawyer of the Year - Charleston, WV - Health Care Law
    • 2020 - Lawyer of the Year - Charleston, WV - Health Care Law
  • West Virginia Super Lawyers (2010 - 2022)
  • Listed, Chambers USA, Corporate/Commercial: Healthcare (2010-2022)
Jump to Page

By using this site, you acknowledge having read our Disclaimer and agree to our Privacy Policy