Erica Erman is an attorney at Dickinson Wright PLLC, practicing health care law with a particular interest in behavioral health care and interactions between municipal law and health care law. Her work includes handling administrative hearings, counseling clients with issues related to HIPAA compliance, Stark and AKS, state licensing, contract drafting, and health care business transactions. Erica has experience in litigating both state and federal False Claims Act cases, has counseled clients with the Parity Act and psychiatric urgent care, and has written multiple articles on emergent case law regarding parity. Prior to joining Dickinson Wright, she clerked for the Hon. Robert M. Brutinel of the Arizona Supreme Court. She also currently serves as Chair of the Arizona Jewish Lawyers Association, a member of the Collaborative Bar.

What is your niche/sub-practice group specialty; and why did you choose it?

My sub-practice group specialty is behavioral healthcare. Behavioral healthcare is a rapidly growing field, and I love working with our clients to effect positive change in this area of law, and in doing so, reduce the all-too-common stigma associated with behavioral health.

What is a recent case or law that is impacting the industry, and why?

The Wit v. UBH case out of the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California is giving teeth to the Federal Parity Law, which essentially mandates that plans containing behavioral health benefits must offer them on par with medical/surgical benefits. You can read more about this case and similar cases in my articles on the DW Health Law Blog: [Insert links to: Mental Health Parity Really Does Mean Equal Benefits; Court Rules UBH Coverage Guidelines a Monumental Fixer-Upper; Highlights from Wit v. United Behavioral Health].

What is the best piece of advice you've ever received related to the health care industry?

To be a successful healthcare attorney, you need to understand how the healthcare facility operates and what the realities are like day-to-day on the ground. Good legal advice is rooted not only in knowledge of the letter of the law, but in how the law works in real time. In this regard, it is important to remember that legal terms and medical terms often do not have the same meaning, and being on the same page with your clients is essential.

What's a fun fact most people don't know about you?

I have an original CD of music called "For a Moment" from 2009, and love to play piano and guitar and sing!