Pitt and Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney to Host 10th-Anniversary Symposium Celebrating University’s Health Law Certificate Program

Issue Date: 
January 29, 2007

Symposium titled “Tax Exemption and Charitable Health Care Providers”
Pitt’s School of Law and the law firm of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney will host a symposium titled “Tax Exemption and Charitable Health Care Providers” to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the law school’s Health Law Certificate Program.

The free public event will be held from  4 to 6 p.m. Feb. 5 in the Barco Law Building’s Teplitz Memorial Courtroom.

Symposium codirectors are Alan Meisel, Pitt professor of law and Dickie, McCamey and Chilcote Professor of Bioethics; and Robert T. Harper, cochair of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney’s Healthcare Section and a faculty member of the health law program at Pitt.

Thomas K. Hyatt, a Pitt law school alumnus and principal of the Washington, D.C., law firm of Ober Kaler Grimes & Shriver, will give the keynote address. He is the author of The Law of Tax-Exempt Healthcare Organizations, 2nd edition, with Bruce R. Hopkins (John Wiley & Sons, 2001). Hyatt is chair emeritus and serves on the faculty of the annual Tax Issues in Healthcare Organizations seminar sponsored by the American Health Lawyers Association (AHLA) and is past chair of AHLA’s Tax and Finance Special Interest and Substantive Law Committee. He frequently lectures on business and tax-planning issues for nonprofit healthcare providers and has written numerous articles for publication on tax-exempt organization topics.

According to Meisel, the topic of the symposium is particularly timely. “Last year, the Internal Revenue Service announced that it would investigate whether nonprofit hospitals are complying with the requirements for tax-exempt status, which necessitates that they provide significant charity care, and if the standards that have been in effect for almost 40 years should be revised,” Meisel said. “This is an issue that states began looking into 10 or 15 years ago, and Pennsylvania took a very hard line on this issue. Now, with the federal government investigating, nonprofit hospitals have another important reason to make sure they are providing adequate charity care.”

Since Meisel founded the Health Law Certificate Program a decade ago, it has consistently been ranked in the top 15 health law programs in the nation, according to the U.S. News and World Report rankings. Pitt’s program prepares lawyers to work in law firms, government agencies, insurance and pharmaceutical companies, and healthcare institutions. Students are exposed to complex business and legal transactions, bioethics, patient-care issues, and legal topics that arise in the operation of a healthcare company.

Hyatt’s talk will be followed by a panel of speakers composed of Pitt law school Dean Mary Crossley; Thomas E. Boyle, a healthcare attorney with Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney who teaches a course in the health law program; Linda Burke, Pitt adjunct professor of law and former IRS Large and Midsize Business Division Counsel; and Karl Emerson, director of the Pennsylvania Department of State’s Bureau of Charitable Organizations.

The Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Board has approved this course for two hours of substantive CLE credits. For CLE details, call Matt Moon at 412-648-1320 or e-mail moon@law.pitt.edu. For more information about the program, call 412-648-7120, and for information about Pitt’s School of Law, visit www.law.pitt.edu.