Foley Hoag Launches New Blog to Examine the Legal Dimensions of the Medicaid Program

February 05, 2015

Foley Hoag LLP has launched a new blog to highlight and explain current legal and policy issues in the Medicaid program and how they will play out in the public policy arena. The Medicaid program is the single largest source of health insurance for children and adults in the United States.

The blog, “Medicaid & The Law,” will be co-authored by Foley Hoag partner Thomas Barker and associate Ross Margulies. Barker inaugurated the blog with an entry examining the ability of Medicaid beneficiaries and providers to enforce a legal entitlement to Medicaid, an issue which is squarely presented in the case Armstrong vs. Exceptional Child Center Inc. currently pending before the Supreme Court of the United States.

“Medicaid was enacted in 1965 and was, at the time, viewed as the forgotten stepchild of the then much larger Medicare program. Today, Medicaid serves almost 69 million low-income Americans, is far larger than Medicare, and is the largest and most complex health insurance program in the United States. Yet Medicaid remains a mystery to many. Any changes to the program and legal challenges to its provisions have an enormous impact on the delivery of healthcare generally and the legal framework around it,” Barker said. “Our goal with this blog is to provide helpful, up-to-date insight for lawyers, policymakers, industry leaders, and public health specialists whose practices are affected by Medicaid but can’t focus on the constant flow of changes and challenges.” Future posts to the blog will address the many current issues that arise in today’s Medicaid program.

Barker, co-chair of Foley Hoag’s Healthcare practice, served as acting general counsel for the Department of Health and Human Services in the Bush Administration in 2008, and was general counsel of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) from 2003 - 2007. He also served as health policy advisor to HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt from 2005-2008. During his tenure at HHS, Barker was responsible for reviewing and assessing the legal sufficiency of every major regulation affecting the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Barker speaks frequently on Medicaid and healthcare issues at public forums and in the news media.

Prior to joining Foley Hoag in 2010, Margulies served as a senior research associate at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Human Services where his research focused almost exclusively on complex legal issues impacting the Medicaid program. Margulies also holds a Masters in Public Health in Health Policy from GWU. At Foley Hoag, Margulies’ practice focuses on statutory and regulatory issues involving the Centers for Medicare & Medicare Services (CMS) and general health policy matters. His expertise includes Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement issues for innovative pharmaceutical products; and legal, regulatory and strategic advice for Medicare and Medicaid providers.