Ambassador Profile – Carrie Nixon – Washington, DC
Carrie Nixon, Esq. is the Managing Partner of Nixon Law Group and CEO of Nixon HealthNexus, a healthcare reform and innovation consultancy. She also serves as Special Advisor to Empactful Capital, a healthcare venture capital firm based in Silicon Valley. Carrie is an expert in healthcare law and policy issues relating to healthcare reform and value-based delivery/reimbursement, including Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and Alternative Payment Models (APMs), MACRA and MIPS reporting, Patient-Centered Medical Homes (PCMHs), public and private Health Insurance Exchanges (HIM and PHIX), Health Information Exchanges (HIE), and mobile health/telemedicine. She provides counseling in governance and regulatory compliance matters such as HIPAA/privacy and fraud and abuse restrictions. Carrie represents health tech companies and healthcare startups, along with hospitals and health systems, health plans, individual physicians and physician groups, pharmacies, and post-acute care providers.
Tell us a bit more about yourself, your background and what you’re doing now.
I started off my career in healthcare and health policy when I worked on Capitol Hill for the House Democratic Caucus just out of college. That was an amazing experience, and I got some real insight into the way that policy is developed and laws are passed in Congress. As part of my job as the the assistant policy director for the House Democratic Caucus, I headed up the Democratic members healthcare task force. That was really my first exposure to healthcare policy, and I found it to be very interesting.
After my job on the hill, I went to law school, and when I graduated from law school, I decided to take a job with a large law firm in DC that had a very good health care law practice. That was really my introduction to health care law, and I spent several years in private practice.
In 2010, I decided to go out on my own and start my own law firm. It was around the time of the passage of the Affordable Care Act. I really felt like there were a lot of healthcare entities, both providers and companies, that were going to need some significant assistance in figuring out how to navigate all of these laws and regulations that were really brand new, and really a total shift in the way that healthcare with the limited reimbursed. I knew those entities were not going to be able to afford the big law firm hourly rates and so I decided to go out on my own and start Nixon Law Group. So that is the the genesis of my practice at a boutique healthcare law firm, and we've been able to succeed and grow. We now have five attorneys and are having a great time serving both providers and health tech companies.
How did you get involved with digital health?
Digital health is such a big part of healthcare reform and the shift from a volume-based, fee-for-service model to a more value-based and outcomes-based model. It is through healthcare technology, and really through healthcare data, and the ability to crunch and analyze and utilize those data that the healthcare industry is going to be able to make the shift to value-based payments. They really can't do it without it. So I find it fascinating to work with entrepreneurs who have great ideas and want to put them into action in the form of some type of health tech or digital health company, and so it has been a natural fit.
Tell us about your city and some of the health and technology innovation that’s happening there.
It's a really interesting place to be for healthcare policy! I'm based in Northern Virginia and my proximity to Washington, DC is such that I'm able to hop into the city and attend any number of conferences and events on Capitol Hill that are happening. I attend things like Capitol Hill briefings, briefings by CMS, events that CMS or HHS are putting on where staff are participating very actively and giving their insights on the latest and greatest information and insights on what’s coming. So, being close to DC and in the DC metro area really lends itself to a unique insight into how policy is being developed and what's coming down the road. We often have sort of an inside track as to what what's coming and that gives us a unique ability to help shape the policy and the direction that things are going.
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