Health Law Teaching Spotlight: Cynthia Asher

March 08, 2018

Bringing New Developments into the Classroom

Finding creative ways to engage and inspire students, Cynthia Asher incorporates current events and cases into her Healthcare Organization and Finance course. This past year, healthcare reform has continued to unfold, often changing dramatically on a daily basis. Prof. Asher encourages students to stay informed on current health law and policy-related news. Whether it’s the most recent repeal and replace efforts to the Affordable Care Act or the OIG’s latest fraud and abuse enforcement action, students see casebook materials come alive in the news.

Often beginning class by posing the question, “What’s new this week in health care?”, Prof. Asher encourages her students to partake in a lively discussion of not only the events of the moment, but also the policies driving the changes and the practical implications of the latest developments, including predictions on what’s to come. After learning the elements of a particular fraud and abuse statute, for example, students might discuss breaking news of a healthcare fraud case and, by doing so, will be better prepared to appreciate and assess the effects of fraud on the healthcare system.

Given the many highly specialized areas within health law, Prof. Asher invites practitioners to speak on their unique area of practice both to inform and inspire her students. For example, her Health Law students learn about restructuring of healthcare entities, including basic terminology and fundamental concepts. In a recent class, Prof. Asher invited Samuel Maizel, a partner with the international law firm of Dentons and one of the nation’s leading attorneys in healthcare industry restructuring, to speak about his most recent bankruptcy cases. Both engaging and inspiring, Mr. Maizel ended the discussion by inviting students to co-author an article with him. Health law practitioners help bring the materials to life for the students in a way that both complements and supplements the materials they encounter in the course.