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About Wakaba

Thoughtful counsel on an array of health care regulatory issues

Wakaba Tessier helps clients navigate the complex health care regulatory landscape at both the state and federal level. She advises on a variety of health care issues, privacy and data concerns, third-party payor audits and inquiries, and day-to-day operational matters. Wakaba also is experienced dealing with issues related to the federal Anti-Kickback Statute, Stark Law and the False Claims Act, as well as related implications for emerging companies in health care mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and financing transactions. Her clients include:

  • Physician groups
  • Specialty pharmacies and infusion providers
  • Health care-related startups
  • Other health care providers, such as clinical laboratories, behavioral health care providers and educational institutions

Wakaba provides personalized guidance to clients by immersing herself in their business, striving to understand their business goals and strategic plans so she can truly be their business partner. Simultaneously sharp and collegial, she makes each client feel their work is important.

Wakaba also has in-house experience, having served as executive vice president and general counsel for a life sciences company in Syracuse, N.Y. Before beginning her legal career, she was a research associate at a health care consulting company.

Experience in Action

  • Frequently deals with pharmacy operations, clinical research agreements, physician compensation arrangements, telemedicine, federal and state reimbursement issues, and medical staff privileging and credentialing.
  • Regularly advises on privacy law and other sensitive and highly regulated issues, including health information confidentiality, data breaches, mental health records, multistate recordkeeping and data transfer, and big data strategies for the creation and implementation of data warehouses.


  • Helped a leading nonprofit behavioral health care organization operationalize its data warehouse, including the drafting of a data use agreement and all related policies and policies.
  • Developed processes and template documents for clinical affiliations for student and resident training for a large multispecialty physician group.
  • Guided a higher education institution in resolution of alleged overpayment claims by commercial third-party payors related to athletic trainer service.
  • Assessed risks linked to various business models related to the opening of a dental clinic for a client’s new dental school.
  • Advised a grocery chain in a major metropolitan area in the sale of all of its operating retail pharmacies to a local health system.
  • Counseled a nationwide specialty pharmacy on compliance and licensure matters, and also led the sale of the pharmacy to a national company creating patient assistance programs for pharmaceutical companies.

Professional Recognitions

  • On Being a Lawyer of Color "Midwest Region Hot List" (2014)
  • Missouri/Kansas Super Lawyers® "Rising Stars" (2018-2019)
  • Ingram "40 Under 40" (2018)

Professional & Civic Activities

  • Law360, Health Editorial Advisory Board (2020-2021, 2023)

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