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They’ve Got Next: Healthcare and Life Sciences Fresh Face Travis Lloyd

April 22, 2021, 9:31 AM

When Quorum Health Corp. needed expert legal help to make sure its 2020 $1.3 billion financial restructuring plan didn’t run afoul of regulations governing operations of its 22 hospitals and 15 outpatient centers, it chose Travis Lloyd, a partner in the Nashville office of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP.

It was just the type of “massive project” that was perfect for Lloyd, Jay Hardcastle, a senior partner at the firm said. He is “deadly effective” at sorting through complex problems, and has a “holistic, encyclopedic knowledge of the regulatory landscape,” Hardcastle said.

Reviewing and coordinating the various state and federal regulations governing the hospitals and the services they offer was an essential part of Quorum’s restructuring, Lloyd said. It is a “must-do activity” for every transaction and requires a “sophisticated understanding” of how the regulatory process works, he said.

And he did it all during the coronavirus pandemic, while also serving as the chair of the firm’s 75-member health-care practice group.

Building Relationships

Lloyd was a natural to lead the team making sure Quorum’s facilities in 13 states had all the necessary certificates and licenses to stay open after the company emerged from bankruptcy, given his long-time relationship with the company. Quorum is a for-profit health-care provider that is one of the 100 largest health systems in the U.S., according to Becker’s Hospital Review.

Lloyd also has “made a name for himself” among the general counsel of the many A-list health-care companies that call Nashville home, including Community Health Systems, which spun off Quorum several years ago, said Hardcastle, the former chair of Bradley’s health-care group.

It’s rare to have someone who’s as detail-oriented as Lloyd who also gets along so well with people, Hardcastle said.

Being based in the firm’s Nashville office helps, Lloyd said. Clients are going to hire the best legal experts no matter where those attorneys are located, but “there’s a lot to be said for being able to meet a client for lunch on a moment’s notice,” he said.

Clients have come to rely on Lloyd’s expertise to navigate the maze of federal and state fraud and abuse laws too, Hardcastle said. Violations of these laws can carry massive civil and criminal penalties and lead to exclusions from federal payment programs like Medicare.

Hardcastle recalled a client once asking him, “Can we see what Travis thinks?” after the senior partner had laid out a proposed solution to a thorny potential fraud problem.

It’s not unusual for the firm’s other attorneys to call Lloyd in to help on a project, Hardcastle said. Lloyd has, for example, served as a subject-matter expert for the white-collar criminal defense team and helped structure financial transactions to ensure regulatory compliance, he said.

Health Law Opportunities

Lloyd knew as a student at Georgia State University College of Law that he wanted to practice health law, he said. He even took an extra year to get a masters’ degree in public health from Harvard to broaden his knowledge of the field.

Today, it helps him to understand the policy behind health-care regulations, and to be able to think about issues from a different perspective, Lloyd said.

Lloyd also encourages younger attorneys to explore a regulatory practice. It’s “deeply satisfying” to be able to find your way through that “dense regulatory thicket,” he said.

And, because the laws and regulations can change rapidly, it’s easy for young attorneys to become experts in the field very quickly, Lloyd said. There are “a lot of nooks and crannies” where they can really dig in and develop an expertise, he said.

Health care law also is attractive because it offers a broader array of issues than some other fields, Lloyd added. It’s not defined by a particular skill set or personality trait—so it lends itself to everyone from litigators to policy wonks.

‘Stretching’ Through Innocence Project

In the midst of the pandemic, Lloyd’s also been leading a team at the firm that is helping the Tennessee Innocence Project evaluate the case of an inmate convicted of murder. His last in-depth experience with criminal procedure was in law school, but it’s healthy for every attorney to “stretch” beyond his normal practice, Lloyd said.

Lloyd couldn’t share the details because the project, which he began working on in July, is still in its early stages.

“There’s a real urgency to move as quickly as possible because there’s a man in jail,” Lloyd said. But he still has a lot of outstanding requests for information from private investigators and attorneys on both sides who worked on the case at various stages of the litigation.

The team needs that information so that it can “take the best shot” at getting the conviction overturned, he said.

Lloyd has found it “deeply satisfying” to be able to add value even though he doesn’t have any special skill or expertise in criminal law. It has been a “good reminder” that there are ways a more transactionally-minded attorney can help, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mary Anne Pazanowski in Washington at mpazanowski@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Patrick L. Gregory at pgregory@bloomberglaw.com; Lisa Helem at lhelem@bloombergindustry.com