Represented a county hospital that became affiliated with a large health care system, obtaining all regulatory approvals, overseeing self-disclosure of potential Stark issues and assisting with the payoff of outstanding bonds.
Thomas J. Onusko
Tom brings nearly 40 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. Tom has represented a wide variety of health care providers in transactions, including financings, mergers and acquisitions, and contract negotiations for hospitals, hospices, long term care facilities and physician groups.
He has also served as an adjunct professor in health care law at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law and at Cleveland State University Graduate Program in Health Care Administration.
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 department.
Tom is also co-founder and past officer of the Health Care Section of the Greater Cleveland Bar Association and has published numerous articles, as well as serving as a speaker and presenter, on all aspects of health care law.
- Member, Health Law Advisory Committee, Cleveland Marshall College of Law, 2009-present
- Director, Ohio Guidestone, 2014-present
- Director, American Red Cross, Northern Ohio Blood Services Region, 1997-present
- Director, Magnificat High School, 2004-2013
- Director, Judson Retirement Community, 1994-2000
- Speaker, “Legal Issues in the Formation of Accountable Care Organizations,” the HFMA of Northeast Ohio Gerry Haggerty Annual Leadership Institute, May 18, 2016
- Speaker, “Legal Requirements for Transparency in Health Care,” the HFMA of Northeast Ohio Gerry Haggerty Annual Leadership Institute, May 13, 2015
- Speaker, “Alignment of Physician-Hospital Incentives in the Post-Health Care Reform World,” the HFMA of Northeast Ohio Gerry Haggerty Annual Leadership Institute, May 21, 2014
- Speaker, “Top Ten Trends and Issues in Health Care for 2013,” the Northeast Ohio Chapter of the Health Care Financial Managers Association, March 14, 2013
- Speaker, “Introduction to Anti-kickback, Stark and False Claims,” the 28th Annual Healthcare Law Institute of the Greater Cleveland Bar Association, Cleveland, Ohio, April 26, 2012
- Speaker, “Ohio Health Law Update,” the Annual Meeting of the American Health Lawyers Association, Washington, D.C., June 30, 2009
- Speaker, “The Stark Law: Critical Issues for Health Care Financial Managers,” the HFMA Northeast Ohio Gerry Haggerty Annual Leadership Institute, Sandusky, Ohio, May 22, 2009
- Speaker, “Recent Legal Developments Affecting Hospitals: Card Check Rules, Red Flag Rules and Self-Disclosure Requirements for Medicare Secondary Payment Claims,” the Lake Erie Regional Cooperative Meeting, Toledo, Ohio, April 17, 2009
- Author, "Qualifying Hospital – Physician Arrangements for Provider-Based Reimbursement Under Medicare," Volume 1 Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Journal No. 12, March 2009
- Speaker, “Ohio Health Law Update,” the Annual Meeting of the American Health Lawyers Association, San Francisco, California, July 1, 2008
- Author, "Physician Recruitment Under the Phase III Stark Rules," Volume 1 Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Journal No. 1, March 2008
- Speaker, “Economic Development Financing Tools, ” the 29th Annual Real Estate Law Institute of the Greater Cleveland Bar Association, Cleveland, Ohio, November 9, 2007
- Speaker, “The Biggest Mistakes Hospitals Make in Physician Contracts and How to Avoid Them,” the Inquisit Audio Conference, June 26, 2007
- Speaker, “Recent Legal Developments Affecting Health Care Lenders,” Fifth Third Bank retreat, Cincinnati, Ohio, January 30, 2007
- Admitted, State of Ohio, August 1977
- Member, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association; Co-Founder, Health Care Section; Vice Chairman; Secretary; Institute Chairman; Institute Speaker
- Listed, Best Lawyers in America (Health Care Law), 1991-2009, 2014-2017
- Listed, Ohio Super Lawyers, 2004-2009
- Ranked as AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell
- Cornell University (J.D., 1977)
- University of Notre Dame (B.A., magna cum laude, 1974)
Bricker & Eckler attorneys earn Best Lawyers 2017 recognition
Best Lawyers recognizes Bricker & Eckler attorneys
Best Lawyers recognizes Bricker & Eckler attorneys
Attorney Tom Onusko discusses the effects of health care reform in the legal industry
Best Lawyers Bestows Honors on Bricker & Eckler Attorneys
Provided ongoing antitrust advice in connection with the formation of a statewide network of six regional health care systems, which is one of the larger health care joint ventures in the country.
Advise public hospitals regarding responses to requests for a large number of public records.
Assisted with transitioning all assets of a not-for-profit developmental disability service provider to another not-for-profit developmental disability service provider, forming one of the largest developmental disabilities service providers in Ohio in terms of revenue and consumers served.
Represented a nonprofit community hospital in becoming affiliated with a large hospital system, obtaining all regulatory approvals.
The Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC) is the largest public retail energy aggregation in Ohio, serving 800,000 electric and gas customers across 13 counties. NOPEC’s electric supplier abruptly notified NOPEC that it was terminating its contract, thus leaving NOPEC’s nearly half-million electric customers to return to utility service at higher rates. Bricker attorneys sprang into action to prevent NOPEC's customers from paying these increased rates. The team negotiated a new complex electricity supply contract with NOPEC's replacement supplier (worth approximately $1 billion); and, within 10 days, our client had signed a new three-year contract. With our assistance, NOPEC obtained two waivers from the PUCO to meet the expedited enrollment timeline. Meanwhile, within two weeks, our litigation team settled a TRO and injunction case involving the original supplier, which resulted in a multi-million-dollar settlement payment to NOPEC. In addition, our energy litigation team dissolved an ex parte TRO issued against NOPEC to a competitor regarding the NOPEC customer enrollment process. We also obtained a complete dismissal of the competitor’s lawsuit on the basis that the PUCO had exclusive jurisdiction over the matter.
Acted as borrower's counsel for a municipal hospital in the issuance of $35 million in revenue bonds.
Represented governmental hospital and acted as borrower's counsel in $25 million hospital revenue bond financing, successfully negotiating a unique provision that permitted the hospital to convert to private nonprofit status in the future without having to obtain the consent of the bondholders.
Assisted an independent, government-owned community hospital in its pursuit of a unique and strategic partnership to keep it viable and positioned to survive the pressures of a reforming health care delivery system. This process involved soliciting and evaluating proposals from potential strategic partners, engaging with consultants, advising on legal issues related to the hospital's government ownership, and, ultimately, preparing and negotiating the strategic affiliation agreement.