Who’s Who at Hinckley Allen: Robert J. Anthony
September 26, 2017
By: Robert J. Anthony
At Hinckley Allen, our attorneys pride themselves on being trusted partners that provide well-rounded, strategic counsel to our clients. This is part of a series of interviews with our attorneys that highlights the unique talents, life experiences, and perspectives that each person brings to their respective practices. These interviews seek to uncover what makes our attorneys tick in both their professional and personal lives.
Based in our Hartford office, Bob’s practice is focused in the area of health care and senior living. He serves as outside general counsel and represents several hospitals both in Connecticut and on a national level.
- How did you get involved in or what led you to this area of law?
I’ve been interested in health care my entire life. My father is a physician, and on top of that, I was fortunate enough to work very closely with my father’s cousin and my godfather, who I call my uncle, Dr. Robert Gallo, who discovered the retrovirus causing AIDS. When I was in college, I even had the opportunity to work alongside him in his lab during a couple of summers. My education followed my passion to learn more about health care policy and how it is delivered. At first, it was to know more about the business side when I was at Yale University in the Masters of Public Health program, and it evolved to wanting to know more about the complex regulatory and legal issues. That’s how I ended up in law school. I haven’t looked back since.
- Who was the biggest influence in your career (mentor/teacher/relative) and why?
I think the biggest influence to my career was my fellowship in health administration at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Like I said before, I was part of the Master of Public Health program at Yale University. Yale does a wonderful job of setting its students up as consultants upon graduation, and they placed me in a variety of different settings to learn more, including Beth Israel. My experience there exposed me to different issues I didn’t know about or only heard about in school. It inspired me to add a legal background to my personal and business knowledge. Before that, I thought I’d be a doctor if anything.
- What are the prominent trends in your industry right now?
Reimbursement has been ratcheted down. It’s a trend you might not hear about much on the news, but it’s transforming how health care is being paid for and delivered. Reimbursement is changing from a fee-for-service model to a value-based model, meaning providers will be paid based on the value of care they provide for patients. The value of care will be measured based on quality and cost metrics that providers must meet, with an overall goal of encouraging collaboration and increasing the quality of care. This change in reimbursement will be a major contributing factor to reducing health care costs and introducing alternative payment models like bundled payments, pay-for-performance, and capitation.
There are still some unanswered questions about how health insurance might change in this country. While legislative conversations continue, my colleagues and I are also watching a number of trends including efforts to reduce hospital readmission rates, collaboration among accountable care organizations, and consolidation among provider groups. We also understand providers are operating under tight budgets for legal services and negotiate alternative billing arrangements when necessary.
- What’s the hardest or best lesson you’ve learned about practicing law?
The hardest lesson is always the simplest. One lesson that comes to mind is being responsive to your clients. I have a 24-hour policy with myself, and always make sure I return a call or email within a day even if just to say that I’m working on it. In law, responsiveness hugely affects relationships with clients. Being responsive shows that you’re trustworthy and can show honesty. It’s a good lesson in life too! Be honest and trustworthy in all you do.
- Given the challenges working in the Health Care industry, what makes it all worth it to you?
I honestly enjoy the work I do and the interactions I have. Truly understanding not only my clients’ business, but my clients personally helps me to positively impact their business. I invest my time in my clients, and even have an office in a hospital that I go to a few times a week. I have great relationships with other board members, physician leaders, my coworkers. When clients can see you work hard at something you’re really invested in it makes a huge difference and I think they really appreciate its value.
- What advice would you give to yourself 10 years ago?
As I continue to mentor not only my colleagues and to build the future of the firm, but also mentor and grow with my children, I think it’s always a good reminder to be there for others. Be a team player. That’s something Hinckley Allen is great at culturally. Not just across offices, but across practices too – collaboration is something that’s really emphasized here. There’s always someone to help you, or be helped by you, and that mentality really makes your personal life and work life better, both for the clients and for the firm.
To learn more about Bob, or the Healthcare and Senior Living practices, click here or connect with him on LinkedIn. Stay tuned for our next “Who’s Who” interview and follow Hinckley Allen on Twitter and LinkedIn for the latest firm news.