Tom Stukes is one of North Carolina’s most experienced healthcare transactions attorneys, having counseled clients in numerous M&A deals, consolidations and restructurings for medical centers and other health care providers. Tom has helped form some of the largest hospital systems in the state during his nearly 40-year career. Tom also represents academic medical centers as well as other healthcare providers and provider networks throughout the country.

His work includes acquisitions, sales, mergers, consolidations, conversions and restructurings of public, nonprofit and for-profit clients. He also advises on joint ventures among hospitals, physicians and other healthcare providers. Tom has been instrumental in the formation of a number of the largest hospital systems in North Carolina. Hospitals, healthcare systems and other health care providers regularly consult with Tom in connection with state and federal healthcare regulatory matters. These include regulatory compliance; government investigations; voluntary disclosures under the CMS and OIG self-disclosure protocols involving potential violations of the Stark Law and the Medicare Fraud and Abuse Anti-kickback Statute; and Medicare and Medicaid MAC and RAC repayment audits and voluntary repayments.

The North Carolina Hospital Association and the North Carolina Medical Society presented Tom with the pen that Governor James B. Hunt, Jr. used to sign into the law health care legislation which enabled the development of risk based provider sponsored health plans in North Carolina.

Presentations and Publications

  • Preventive and Preemptive Measures: Issues in Compliance Audits and Voluntary Repayments and Institutional Conduct  Trends in Recent Government Activities Focused on Inpatient Admissions Medicare RAC, North Carolina Hospital Association, Greensboro, N.C. March 26, 2013
  • Recruitment Assistance to Faculty and Medical Teams:  Unique Arrangement and Issues for Academic Medical Centers, 2007 Program: Legal Issues Affecting Academic Medical Centers & Other Teaching Institutions, American Health Lawyers Association, Washington, D.C., January 25-26, 2007
  • Emerging Tax and Governance Guidance:  The New Era of Hospital Accountability, Seeing the Forest and the Trees 2006 Health Law Section Annual Meeting, North Carolina Bar Association, Cary, N.C., May 5, 2006
  • Legal Update:  Sarbanes-Oxley Act, Leaders’ Institute. North Carolina Hospital Association, Myrtle Beach, S.C., April 21-23, 2006
  • Hospital/Physician Competition and Collaboration in a Fluid Market, Rowland Memorial Library Health Planning Seminar, sponsored by The Duke Endowment and the North and South Carolina Hospital Associations, Charlotte, N.C.,  May 2004
  • Hospital Regulatory Environment and Best Practices for the Governing Board, Leaders’ Institute, North Carolina Hospital Association, Hilton Head, S.C., April 2004
  • Tough Issues in Hospital Physician Relations, Leaders’ Institute, North Carolina Hospital Association, Hilton Head, S.C., April 2004
  • Emergency Medical Treatment, Transfers and Discharges (EMTALA), Patient & Provider Rights Manual; presented at North Carolina Hospital Association Meetings, Raleigh and Hickory, N.C., May 2003
  • Health Care Law Update, presented to North Carolina Association of CPAs 63rd Annual Symposium, Greensboro, N.C., October 30, 2002
  • Hospital-Physician Joint Ventures In A Tight Capital Market: Choosing Wisely, Building For Success, presented to Hospital Leaders Institute, North Carolina Hospital Association, Hilton Head, S.C., April 27, 2002
  • Practical Implications of The New Stark Rule (Phase I), presented to HFMA North Carolina Chapter Summer Institute, Myrtle Beach, S.C., August 9, 2001
  • Rolling With The Punches, Government: Helpers or Intruders, presented to Annual MHEANA Conference, Greensboro, N.C., June 26, 2001
  • Practical Implications of The New Stark Rule (Phase I), presented to District 2 Meeting, North Carolina Hospital Association, Winston-Salem, N.C., June 13, 2001
  • Practical Implications of The New Stark Rule (Phase I), presented to District 1 Meeting, North Carolina Hospital Association, Asheville, N.C., April 11, 2001
  • Hospital-Physician Arrangements: Structuring the Relationship, Observing the Rules, and Achieving Service Delivery Seminar, -  Reengineering Hospital-Owned Physician Networks, Compliance Issues for Hospital Owned Physician Practices; Hospital-Physician Joint Venture Opportunities, Physician Recruitment Revisited, Effect of Provider-Based Regulations on Hospital Owned Physician Practices, presented to North Carolina Hospital Association, Cary, N.C., October 27, 2000
  • Keeping Your Client Inbounds: Current Legal Issues in Health Care - Fraud and Abuse Update, presentation to North Carolina Society Of Healthcare Attorneys 2000 Annual Meeting, Research Triangle Park, N.C., October 6, 2000
  • Corporate Compliance Physician Relationships - Legal and Operational Issues, presentation to N.C. Hospital Association District VI Meeting, Greenville, N.C., September, 2000
  • The Latest On Legal Issues Facing Recruitment, presentation to the Carolinas Association of Physician Services, Daufuskie Island, S.C., April, 2000
  • ADA, Non-Admitting Physicians and Other Topics, presentation to the North Carolina Association of Medical Staff Services, Raleigh, N.C., August, 1999
  • Legal Issues Briefing, presentation to the North Carolina Hospital Association - Trustee Institute, Hilton Head, S.C., April, 1999
  • New Hospital-Physician Equity and Gainsharing Arrangements, presentation to the American College of Healthcare Executives, 1999 Congress on Healthcare Management, Chicago, Illinois, March, 1999
  • Managed Care Contracting: The Latest Tricks of the Trade, presentation to the North Carolina HFMA Annual Meeting, Pinehurst, N.C., February, 1999
  • Hospital and Physician Regulatory Compliance: What To Do Now To Protect Your Organization (Small/Rural Constituency - Physician Practice Management-Operational Improvement and Compliance), presentation to the North Carolina Hospital Association, Rural Constituency Group Meeting, Cary, N.C., June, 1998
  • Corporate Compliance: What’s It All About and Why Should Boards Be Informed?, presentation to the North Carolina Hospital Association Hospital Trustee Institute, Myrtle Beach, S.C., April, 1998
  • Emerging Legal Issues For Hospital Leadership, presentation to the North Carolina Hospital Association Hospital Trustee Institute, Myrtle Beach, S.C., April, 1998
  • Federal Healthcare Update - The Proposed Stark II Regulations, presentation to the North Carolina Bar Association Health Law Section Annual Meeting, Research Triangle Park, N.C., March, 1998
  • Balanced Budget Amendment and PSO Development, presentation to the North Carolina Hospital Association Joint Committee on Medicaid, Cary, N.C., October, 1997
  • Bylaws: Re-Inventing The Wheel and Accommodating Managed Care, presentation to the Eighth Annual North Carolina Association Medical Staff Services Conference, Sunset Beach, N.C., May, 1997
  • Legal Perspectives of Economic Credentialing, presentation to the Joint Committee on Economic Credentialing of the North Carolina Medical Society and the North Carolina Hospital Association, Raleigh, N.C., April, 1997
  • Effective Alliance: The Beat Goes On - Mergers & Alliances, presentation to the Joint Fall Conference for the Carolinas Healthcare Public Relations and Marketing Society and Carolinas Society for Healthcare Planning and Marketing, Hilton Head Island, S.C., December, 1996
  • The Changing Face of Health Care Delivery - Rural Health Care Providers, presentation to the North Carolina Society of Healthcare Attorneys, Raleigh, N.C., October, 1996
  • Academic Medical Centers and Community Providers: Strategies and Structures for Integration and Managed Care, presentation to the National Health Lawyers Association Health Law Update and Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C., June, 1996
  • Making Your Integrated Delivery System Work ... Within the Antitrust Boundaries, presentation to the 1996 MSA National User Group Meeting, Atlanta, GA, May, 1996
  • Self-Referral Update - The Latest Developments in State and Federal Anti-Self Referral Law and Interpretations, presentation to the North Carolina Bar Association Health Law Section Annual Meeting, Greensboro, N.C., April, 1996
  • Update on Medical Staff Bylaws and Meeting Legal Requirements, presentation to the North Carolina Association Medical Staff Services, Burlington, N.C., February, 1996
  • Integrated Delivery Systems, presentation to the North Carolina Bar Association Health Law Section as part of the Health Law Primer for health care attorneys, Raleigh, N.C., December, 1995
  • Forum on Physician - Hospital Organizations, presentation to the North Carolina Hospital Association, Cary, N.C., October, 1995
  • Capitation II - Fraud & Abuse Antitrust Issues, presentation to the North Carolina Hospital Association conference in Winston-Salem, March, 1995
  • Not-for-Profit Constituency - Physician Practice Acquisitions, presentation to the North Carolina Hospital Association in Cary at the North Carolina Hospital Center, November, 1994
  • Integration and Managed Care In Rural and Small Communities, presentation to the National Health Lawyers Association Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL, June, 1994
  • New Developments In Regulatory Issues (Transfer Of Risk and Insurance; Certificate of Need; Securities Regulation, Etc.), presentation to the North Carolina Bar Foundation, Health Law Section Annual Meeting, April, 1994
  • Integrated Delivery Systems, presentation at the North Carolina Hospital Association, Ernst & Young and Smith Helms Mulliss & Moore joint seminar - Addressing Legal and Tax Issues - April, 1994
  • Task Force On Integrated Delivery Systems, presentation to the North Carolina Hospital Association, February, 1994
  • Managing The Hospital Medical Staff, presentation to the North Carolina Bar Association Health Law Section as part of the Health Law Primer for health care attorneys, December, 1993
  • Relationships With Physicians/Alternate Practice Arrangements-Physician Hospital Organizations and Integrated Delivery Systems, presented at the North Carolina Hospital Association Not-For-Profit Constituency and Rural Hospital Constituency Meetings, Fall, 1993
  • Buying Physician Practices -- the Legal Pitfalls, presented at the North Carolina Healthcare 
  • Financial Management Association 1993 Annual Meeting and Summer Institute, August, 1993
  • New Stakes In Physician Recruitment, How To Be Successful and Still Meet IRS Requirements, presented by the North Carolina Hospital Association, Ernst & Young, and Smith Helms Mulliss & Moore, May, 1993
  • 1993 Changes To Certificate of Need Law, presented for members of the North Carolina Hospital Association, Spring, 1993
  • Hospital/Physician Business and Referral Relationships, presented at the Health Law Update Seminar at the North Carolina Society of Healthcare Attorneys Annual Meeting, October, 1992
  • Current Issues In Tax and Fraud and Abuse Law, presented by the North Carolina Hospital Association, Ernst & Young and Smith Helms Mulliss & Moore, August, 1992
  • Managing The Hospital Medical Staff, presentation to the North Carolina Bar Association Health Law Section as part of the Health Law Primer for Health Care Attorneys, December, 1991
  • Medicare Fraud and Abuse Safe Harbors, Moderator for seminar presented by SunHealth Corporation, October, 1991
  • Managing The Medical Staff, presented at the North Carolina Bar Association Health Law Section Annual Meeting, April, 1991
  • Ambulatory Surgery and Other Outpatient Facilities: Governmental Regulation, Malpractice and Other Liabilities of Concern in The Ambulatory Care Setting, presented for the North Carolina Medical Society and the Health Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association, February, 1991
  • Antitrust Issues In The Health Care Industry, presented at the Third Annual Hospital and Health Law Seminar cosponsored by The South Carolina Hospital Association, The South Carolina Society of Hospital Attorneys and The South Carolina Medical Association, September, 1990

Civic and Professional Activities

  • North Carolina Bar Association, Health Law  Section
  • American Bar Association
  • Guilford County Bar Association
  • American Health Lawyers Association
  • North Carolina Society of Health Care Attorneys
  • Charleston University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill Parents Council
  • Alumni Board of Directors - University of North Carolina School of Law
  • Board of Directors - Greensboro Cerebral Palsy association

Honors and Awards

  • Chambers USA 2018 Ranked Lawyer, Healthcare, North Carolina
  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© in the field of Healthcare Law, 1997 – Present
  • Received the Best Lawyers™ Healthcare "Lawyer of the Year" award in Greensboro, North Carolina, 2014, 2016
  • Super Lawyers Honoree, 2006 - 2019
Experience

Any result the lawyer or law firm may have achieved on behalf of clients in other matters does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.

  • Advised one of the largest hospital companies in the US on several innovative joint ventures.
  • Advised academic medical centers across the country on financial transactions and arrangements, compliance with government regulations, and reimbursement issues.
  • Represented clients in numerous whistleblower cases involving Medicare and Medicaid. These engagements have involved hundreds of millions of dollars of government program reimbursements.
  • Represented a number of leading North Carolina hospitals in a $400 million dispute with the federal government over Medicaid DSH payments and recently represented a client in the largest settlement to date under the CMS self-disclosure protocol under the Stark Law.
  • Represents one of the first accountable care organizations approved by the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services under its Medicare shared savings program.
  • Advised health systems on the formation and operation of provider sponsored health plans
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Bar admissions

1974, North Carolina

Admitted to practice in the United States District Court, Middle District of North Carolina

Education

  • J.D., 1974, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill,
    • with honors
    • Order of the Coif
    • Editor-in-Chief, North Carolina Law Review
  • B.A., 1970, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill:  American Studies
    • with honors