Written by The Business Journal Staff
William E. Chaltraw, Jr., Partner
Fishman, Larsen, Chaltraw & Zeitler
What we do:
As a law firm, we provide our clients with preventative solutions, while building long-term and fulfilling relationships through vital accessibility. Our areas of specialty include: Health Care Law, Employment Law, Tax & Business Planning, Estate Planning, Real Estate and Business Litigation.
University of California, Los Angeles, 1994 — B.S. in Biology
University of Houston Law Center, 1999 — J.D. (Cum Laude)
My wife of eight years, Leslie, and our two children,
Kate, age seven, and Jake age four.
How did you become a partner with Fishman, Larsen, Chaltraw & Zeitler, William?
After working a number of years at a large, local law firm, I was given the opportunity to join FLCZ in the health care law practice and to work very closely with Michael Goldring, who is an experienced and well-respected attorney. After working as an associate for a year, I was offered partnership.
How has the firm changed or grown since you joined in 2006, William?
The firm has grown in size, practice diversity and geographic area. The firm now consists of eight attorneys and we have greatly expanded our health care, employment and tax practices. We also now have an office in Visalia to serve our clients in the South Valley, which has steadily grown since 2006.
In your career, are there any notable clients or cases that stand out in your mind and why, William?
One project that stands out in my mind is working with Mineral King Surgical Associates and Kaweah Delta Health Care District to develop a surgical hospitalist program. The program has ensured access to surgical care in the Visalia area and allowed Kaweah Delta Medical Center to obtain level-two trauma status. This is an example of a hospital and group of physicians identifying a problem that was negatively impacting their delivery of care and collaborating to resolve the issue and improve patient access. It has also served as a model to address other areas of care, such as critical care, pediatrics, and cardiac surgery. I was honored to provide legal counsel to the physicians’ group in the matter.
What legal issues do you find to be the most common now when it comes to the health care industry, William?
The most common issues continue to involve compliance with the health care fraud and abuse laws as well as medical privacy laws, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Confidentiality of Medical Information Act (“CMIA”). With the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, we are also seeing issues surrounding the interpretation and implementation of its various requirements.
How has the Affordable Care Act affected health care providers’ liability and how are they adjusting to that, William?
The Affordable Care Act affects great change in how health care is accessed by patients and delivered by providers. With the implementation of the California Health Insurance Exchange, Covered California, we are seeing a great number of patients who may not have been previously insured, now having access to some form of insurance, but not necessarily having access to providers who accept their new insurance. This is the next great challenge and opportunity to the health care delivery system here in California. How we address this shortage of available providers, as we add additional insured, will really be the true measure of whether the Affordable Care Act can succeed.
Based on my experience, health care providers seem to be adjusting to the Affordable Care Act by pursuing opportunities to affiliate with hospitals and health systems, consolidate their practices with other providers, and otherwise reduce costs as reimbursement decreases. How this will impact patient care remains to be seen, but it is my job to assist health care providers with understanding what the requirements are under the new laws and regulations and assisting them with compliance.
What local boards, associations or causes are you involved with, William?
I am the immediate past chair of the Board of Directors for the American Red Cross Central Valley and remain actively involved in that organization. I was also a founding member of the Shakers of Community Medical Foundation, which was a group of young professionals dedicated to raising funds for and supporting the mission of Community Medical Centers.
What accomplishments are you most proud of? What would you still like to achieve, William?
I am most proud of my family as well as my accomplishment of becoming an expert in the field of health care law. As a community steward, I would still like to have an impact on my local community in some way and also become more involved in ensuring the delivery of quality health care in rural communities, which remain underserved.
What was your first job and what did you learn from it, William?
My first job I worked as a customer service representative at Wells Fargo Bank. What I learned from that job was the importance of providing excellent customer service and making sure that I was diligent in all my tasks. I use these traits even in my job today.
What are your roots in the San Joaquin Valley, William?
My family moved to Fresno when I was five years old and I lived here until I attended college and law school. I always knew that I wanted to return to the Central Valley, practice law, and raise a family because, although we have our challenges, the Central Valley remains an incredibly friendly, tight-knit community where you can truly make a difference.
What do you like to do in your spare time, William?
I enjoy spending time with family. Whether it be watching my daughter dance, my son play T-ball or soccer, or family trips to Disneyland, as long as we are together, life is fulfilling. I also love to follow my alma mater, the UCLA Bruins, and when I can make time, run and read.