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Mary Beth F. Johnston

Administrative Partner (Research Triangle Park)
Fax +1.919.516.2071
Ms. Johnston is the Administrative Partner of the Research Triangle Park office and the co-leader of the firm’s health care practice group. She concentrates her practice exclusively in health law, representing academic medical centers, hospital systems, managed care contracting organizations, long-term care and home care providers, and a wide array of ancillary service providers. As a result of this diversified practice, her proficiency extends to federal and state regulatory compliance matters, including HIPAA and general telehealth compliance, physician self-referral law issues, provider network development and managed care, and health care operational issues, including Certificates of Need, medical staff credentialing, and provider-based entity issues. She likewise maintains an active transactional practice and continues to represent providers on tax-exempt financing matters. Over the last decade, she has represented academic medical centers, health systems and hospitals in bond issues with an aggregate principal of more than $2,600,000,000. Since 2008, Ms. Johnston has served on the firm's Management Committee and between 2010 and 2012 she served on the firm's Executive Committee.


  • Chambers USA Healthcare - North Carolina (Band 1) 2014, 2015
  • American Bar Association Foundation Fellow, 2015
  • Best Lawyers’ Health Care Lawyer of the Year Raleigh/RTP Area – 2011 and 2016
  • Best Lawyers in America, Health Care Law, 1998-2016
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers, Health Care Law, 2006, 2008-2016
  • Nightingale Healthcare News’ Outstanding Hospital Lawyer, 2009
  • 2006 Woman Extraordinaire, Business Leader Magazine

Professional/Civic Activities

  • American Bar Association (Health Law Section's eHealth and Privacy Interest Group, Vice-Chair 2000-2003)
  • HIPAA Implementation Planning Task Force (North Carolina Healthcare Information and Communications Alliance, Inc., 2001-2002)  
  • North Carolina Bar Association (Health Law Section Former Council Member) 
  • North Carolina Society of Health Care Attorneys (Past President)
  • Wake County Bar Association, Voluntary Lawyers Program, 1990 and 1994 Pro Bono Award

Speaking Engagements

  • “After Anthem: Cybersecurity, Data Privacy, and Cyber-Resilience for the Health Care Sector,” seminar and webinar, May 2015
  • “Navigating the Maze of Ownership Changes – Emphasis on Medicare and Medicaid Enrollment Strategies,” American Health Lawyers Association, Healthcare Transactions Program, April 2013 & 2014
  • “Sunshine Act Compliance,” client webinars, May and June 2013
  • “Medical/Legal Update,” 37th Annual Emery C. Miller Medical Symposium, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, August 2008
  • “Legal, Ethical & Compliance Issues in Palliative Care,” The Carolinas Center for Hospice and End of Life Care, December 2007
  • “Stark II and Anti-Kickback Law Update,” Health Care Compliance Association, Southeastern Division, May 2005
  • “Hot Legal Issues,” 54th Annual Meeting, North Carolina Health Information and Management Association, May 2004
  • “HIPAA Update,” American Bar Association, Health Law Section, Washington, D.C., November 2003
  • “Hot Legal Issues,” Hospital Leaders Institute, North Carolina Hospital Association, April 2003
  • “HIPAA,” CED Healthcare Entrepreneurial Roundtable, September 2002
  • Representation of academic medical centers in multiple hospital and ancillary provider acquisitions.
  • Representation of large public hospital systems on transactional and regulatory aspects of conversion to private, nonprofit systems.
  • Regular representation of large health systems on public finance transactions as borrower’s counsel, including a multi-faceted bond issue of fixed, variable and put bonds for an academic medical center with a principal amount in excess of $500,000,000.
  • Representation of hospitals and affiliated physicians on internal and external billings compliance investigations.
  • Representation of academic medical centers on telemedicine regulatory and reimbursement issues.
  • Representation of hospitals and health plans on HIPAA privacy and security issues, including preparation of model documents and preemption analysis.
  • Representation of health care providers on Certificate of Need application decisions and on other administrative matters.