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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 major academic medical centers, hospital and health systems, accountable care organizations and provider networks, long-term care and home care providers, and pharmacy and clinical laboratory 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. 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)
  • American Bar Association Foundation Fellow
  • 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,” medical device 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 academic medical center in establishment of DNA repository and research collaborations with providers and drug manufacturers.
  • 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 health systems on internal and external billings compliance False Claim Act 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.