Kimberlee Seah – Soleo Health
A patient and her family were pleased when she was discharged from the hospital after receiving care for her endocarditis—the inflammation of the inner linings of her heart’s chamber and valves. However, she still needed follow up care—infusions of antibiotics—to prevent further infections.
Finding a provider on short notice wasn’t easy—just getting insurance company approval for in-home care is complicated and time consuming. However, Kimberlee Seah says Soleo Health helps patients receive therapies to treat their complex medical conditions.
The company treats autoimmune and neuromuscular disorders, hemophilia and bleeding disorders, infectious diseases and other rare medical conditions—either at home or in one of its infusion and treatment centers.
Soleo Health provides access to doctors, nurses, pharmacists, patient advocates and reimbursement specialists. It has a network of specialty pharmacies to deliver therapies as well.
As the company’s senior vice president and general counsel, Seah manages legal affairs and ensures compliance with a plethora of federal and state agency regulations.
“Our goal is to simplify complex care and improve the quality of patients’ lives,” she says. “I love helping translate complex legal frameworks into practical advice that guides business teams in achieving their patient care mission.”
Bringing care home
Soleo Health was founded in 2014 and is headquartered in Frisco, Texas. Along with its nationwide infusion suites, the company has 21 branch pharmacies throughout the U.S., national nursing coverage and pharmacy licensure in all 50 states.
“Our goal is to make the experience simple for our patients. But getting through the health care system is complex,” Seah says, explaining it involves working with public and private health care insurers that pay for services differently and have different criteria for billing.
She says Soleo Health sets itself apart in the industry by how quickly it can onboard a patient after getting a referral. While therapies can be arranged in hours, Seah says getting patients fully approved by insurance can take a few days or several weeks behind the scenes.
While Seah oversees a range of legal services, Linda Peruzzi, an associate counsel and vice president, and Robin Flynn, a senior corporate paralegal, manage contract negotiations and regulatory analyses that are critical to delivering patient care. They also work closely with the company’s compliance officer and vice president Toren Mushovic.
“There’s no such thing as a template contract,” Seah says. “It has to be customized to the situation and what’s happening.”
An infusion of work
Seah and her team also ensure compliance with privacy and security regulations in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and state board of pharmacy regulations for the company’s SoleMetrics proprietary clinical outcomes program.
SoleMetrics gathers patient information including catheter infections, emergency room visits, drug use, responses to therapy and side effect management. The data and information can be provided in real time to the patient’s physician, and as aggregated de-identified data to pharmaceutical companies and insurers that are monitoring patient care quality, safety and efficacy.
The data can also be used to create clinical abstracts showing how patients respond to treatments. One abstract, for example, details the effectiveness of the drug edaravone in treating amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Seah says.
“We have to build our technology to manage the workflows and standardize service and then draw data in a compliant manner—all to give simple results to physicians who are trying to coordinate and monitor the patient’s care,” Seah says.
She adds that outside counsel is crucial to her work, crediting Polsinelli Law Firm for helping throughout practice areas with a “knowledgeable, creative, diligent and practical” approach.
Seah says Kirkland & Ellis LLP provides support with corporate governance and banking matters. FordHarrison LLP helps her address employment and labor matters when hiring in a competitive marketplace. Consultants at the Carnahan Group assist with market valuations and compensation analyses to support compliance with regulatory requirements in complex contracts.
A desire to help
With a mother who was a home health nurse and a father and grandfather who were lawyers, Seah says her family inspired her to have a career in healthcare law.
Born in southern New Hampshire, Seah earned her bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Dartmouth College in 1996. She earned her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in 2000 and says she considered staying in the Washington, D.C., area because she likes being an advocate.
After graduating, Seah served as a clerk for a year with Judge Thomas L. Ambro of the U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit in Philadelphia. From 2001 to 2005, she was an associate at the firm of Ropes & Gray LLP.
Since then, she’s led legal departments in specialty pharmacies for more than 15 years, helping patients with complex medical conditions receive needed therapies.
Seah and her family moved to Hawaii in 2015 and returned to live on the Maine seacoast in 2018. She works remotely and says the arrangement suits her well as it balances family needs and work demands.
While she enjoys the varied tasks and demands of her role, Seah values Soleo Health’s approach even more.
“We work in a highly regulated industry, and I am one member of a large team of well-versed professionals,” Seah says. “When we’re attempting to bring the best new therapies to our patients, we have to trust each other’s expertise to understand where our boundaries are without hindering our ability to innovate. This unity of mission is what makes working at Soleo Health rewarding.”
View this feature in the Vanguard Winter I 2023 Edition here.
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