BS (Caltech), JD (UConn) LLM (Yale) , PhD (Emory). I was a full-time law professor a long time ago (mostly, Indiana University). I taught “law and medicine” and tons of other stuff. I was an adjunct professor at a very large medical school (Indiana University SOM). Then, a lawyer whose practice tilted toward health care finance law; I represented — at one time or another — providers, consumers, and the federal government.
I’ve also hopped on and off an alternate life-track involving a math-heavy area of biomedical research; some statistics and a bit of bioinformatics were involved. I work comfortably with numbers. Scientific training has also — I hope — rendered me generally more interested in learning the truth than in winning some argument.
I’ll add some relevant highlights below as I think of them, here:
I have never been charged with an ethics violation. I have an Inspector General’s Integrity Award from the US Department of Health and Human Services.
I’ve handled big data, hundreds of thousands of entries.
In graduate school, I used methods for evaluating models of macromolecules (built with X-ray crystallographic data) that are closely related to the model-scoring math for evaluating population health risk models (built using diagnostic code data).
I’ve been a health policy advisor to both Democrats and Republicans.
I’ve handled cases (with seven to ten figure implications) involving Medicare cost accounting, lab coding, diagnosis coding.
Told by a Congressman that, because of the need to keep the CBO budget score down, he would sponsor my proposed health reform amendment if and only if I could find him where to get the $15B it would have cost so that, I located a a $15B error in the CBO report.
I’ve drafted state Medicaid eligibility-expanding legislation that became law without amendment, bringing millions of dollars of Medicaid benefits to many thousands of seniors living in poverty. I’ve also won an award for helping the federal Medicaid authorities root out millions in Medicaid eligibility fraud.
My first suit against a government health insurance rule and my first against a large provider group were each about four decades ago.
A proper “BIO”
Gary Ratner, now retired, spent a decade as a professor of law, specializing in medico-legal subjects, primarily at Indiana University. He also served as an adjunct professor at IU’s School of Medicine. After leaving the academic world, he practiced law for fifteen years, most of it as a health care attorney and advocate. In that role, after just over one year in a private firm representing a medium size hospital group, he switched to public service, starting as an Assistant Regional Counsel for the United States Department of Health and Human Service and ending as a health policy specialist in a public interest law firm. He was involved in many complex matters involving provider reimbursement, insurance, coding, accounting, capitated payments, and patient cost sharing.
In late middle age, Ratner hopped back into his pre-law world to resume studies in biomedical science. He supported that effort, in part, by serving as the general counsel of a bioinformatics company. His return to science resulted in a doctorate in biochemistry and cell biology from Emory University. Ratner’s heavily quantitative thesis work involved the structural biology of the nuclear pore complex.
In retirement, Ratner has been a self-described health policy hobbyist. In 2017, he began to study direct primary care. He has published over 100 essays on the subject on his blog, now known as dpcreferee.com.
In addition to the PhD from Emory, Ratner holds a BS from Caltech, an MS from Purdue, a JD from the University of Connecticut, and an advanced law degree (LLM) from Yale. Ratner amuses himself and some others by bragging that he has published articles in both the Indiana Law Journal and the Journal of the Indian Chemical Society. On the other hand, he is quite proud to have been admitted both to practice law at the Supreme Court of the United States and to practice x-ray crystallography at the Advanced Photo Source at Argonne National Laboratory.
Mr. Ratner has no direct financial interest in direct primary care, in any other primary care delivery model, in any health care provider, or any insurer, insurance broker, or employer. His work on direct primary care is entirely self-funded. More than five decades ago Barbara Ratner, his spouse, spent a single year employed by a health insurer. She did not like it, but she learned a bit about group experience rating.