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Thomas J. Onusko

Tom brings more than 30 years of valuable and varied health care experience to Bricker & Eckler’s Cleveland office. His practice has been dedicated primarily to health care law, including hospital-physician relationships, joint ventures, fraud and abuse counseling, corporate compliance programs, medical staff credentialing, mergers and acquisitions, managed care contracts, joint ventures, tax-exempt bond financing, third-party reimbursement and risk management.

He has also served as an adjunct professor at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law, teaching “Health Care Organization and Finance” and an adjunct professor at Cleveland State University Graduate Program in Health Care Administration, teaching “Introduction to Health Law.”

In 2009 he was appointed senior vice president and general counsel of The MetroHealth System, a 350-bed county hospital and academic medical center, where he supervised the operation of the 20-member, in-house law...

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Representative Experience

  • Led an internal hospital compliance audit involving more than 8,000 contracts in response to an investigation by the Office of Inspector General which sought more than $100M of penalties for alleged fraud and abuse violations. As a result of the investigation and the curative actions recommended, a reduction of over $90M in penalties was obtained.
  • Drafted and negotiated well more than 100 hospital-physician contracts.
  • Served as bond, borrower, lender and/or underwriter counsel in more than 100 tax exempt bond financings, including more than 50 hospital revenue bond issues.

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Professional & Community Activities

  • Cleveland Marshall College of Law, Member of Health Law Advisory Committee, 2009 to present
  • Director, Ohio Guidestone, 2014-present
  • Director, American Red Cross, Northern Ohio Blood Services Region, 1997-present

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Presentations & Published Works

  • “Alignment of Physician-Hospital Incentives in the Post-Health Care Reform World” presented at the HFMA of Northeast Ohio Gerry Haggerty Annual Leadership Institute: May 21, 2014
  • “Top Ten Trends and Issues in Health Care for 2013” presented to the Northeast Ohio Chapter of the Health Care Financial Managers Association: March 14, 2013
  • “Introduction to Anti-kickback, Stark and False Claims” presented at the 28th Annual Healthcare Law Institute of the Greater Cleveland Bar Association in Cleveland, Ohio: April 26, 2012

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Bar Admissions & Activities

  • Admitted to Ohio Bar, August 1977
  • Member, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association; Co-Founder, Health Care Section, Vice Chairman, Secretary, Institute Chairman, and Institute Speaker
  • Member, Ohio State Bar Association

Awards & Recognition

  • Listed, Best Lawyers in America (health care law) 1991-2009, 2014-2015
  • Ranked as AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell™
  • Listed, Ohio Super Lawyers, 2004-2009


  • University of Notre Dame (B.A., magna cum laude, 1974)
  • Cornell University (J.D. 1977)