News | BRG press release
BRG Appointed as Independent Monitor to Oversee Terms of Cedars-Sinai and Huntington Hospital Affiliation
The California Attorney General and Cedars-Sinai Health System have selected Berkeley Research Group (BRG) Managing Director Frank Stevens individually and BRG as the firm to serve as the court-appointed independent monitor overseeing compliance of the settlement regarding the affiliation between Cedars-Sinai and Huntington Hospital. The approval of Huntington Hospital’s affiliation with Cedars-Sinai, effective as of August 2021, included a requirement of an appointment of a monitor and specific competitive impact conditions.
Stevens has extensive experience as an independent monitor, including appointments as monitor for five organizations by the California Department of Managed Health Care, Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) and by health plans of their delegated entities. He has nearly 40 years of managed care contracting experience. Stevens has been recognized by California state courts and federal courts in the Central District as an expert for opining on reimbursement and contract term disputes between health plans and providers. He has negotiated and signed thousands of health plan and hospital agreements in 42 states.
“I am privileged to assume the responsibilities of the independent monitor and honored in the trust placed in me by Cedars Sinai, Huntington Hospital and the California Attorney General to fulfill this important role in a fair and equitable manner,” said Stevens. “The assignment leverages my decades of experience in working with health plans, hospitals and regulatory agencies.”
The team supporting Stevens includes BRG Managing Director Mark Abernathy, who has more than 40 years of experience spanning a variety of providers, payers and other healthcare entities, including most recently at the Alameda Alliance for Health for two years, serving successively as monitor, conservator and CEO. The BRG team also includes Director Jessica Huebner, who specializes in providing dispute resolution and forensic accounting and investigation services to healthcare organizations and their legal counsel; and Director Lindsay Knutson, who leads teams in complex data analytics and compliance audits to help healthcare companies and their legal counsel resolve business challenges and disputes.
Both Huebner and Knutson have extensive experience assisting Stevens and Abernathy in independent monitoring engagements. Stevens also will have access to other experts in BRG’s healthcare practice on an as-needed basis. The monitorship also draws on BRG’s extensive healthcare antitrust expertise, with the participation of Managing Director David Eisenstadt, a nationally known economic expert with particular consulting and testimony expertise in the antitrust and industrial organization analysis of healthcare markets.
Stevens also has added highly experienced antitrust attorneys from different law firms to support him in his role as monitor, noting, “Throughout my many monitoring, conservatorships, trustee and responsible person projects, I have had the opportunity to work with highly knowledgeable and experienced legal advisers whose perspective and advice were invaluable to me in my leadership roles.”