Laura Johnson Evans

Partner, Health Law National Service Line Leader, Health Care Business Sector Chair

Clients call on Laura when they need a health care lawyer who is experienced in the everyday, operational aspects of the industry. After litigating complex health care, toxic tort, and product liability cases for seven years, Laura served as in-house counsel for Roper St. Francis Healthcare, a Charleston-based health care system including two acute care hospitals, as well as numerous ancillary facilities and physician practices. While in-house, she oversaw a wide variety of corporate, operational, compliance, risk management, and medical staff matters, as well as managing outside counsel. The health care system was self-insured, with a self-insured trust, which impacted the reserving and handling of the system’s litigation matters, all of which she oversaw.

After serving in-house, Laura re-entered private practice and dedicated herself to providing counsel to a wide variety of health care providers. Laura often acts as outside general counsel to hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, laboratory entities, physician practices, long term care providers, post-acute care providers, independent and assisted living entities, in-home medical service entities, and specialty care facilities. 

Laura is certified as a mediator/arbitrator in the State of South Carolina and a certified neutral by the American Health Lawyers Association (AHLA).

Laura is dedicated to pro bono service, having led the Charleston County Bar’s response to the Mother Emanuel tragedy (which provided over 1500 hours of pro bono legal assistance to the victims’ families and survivors) for which she was named the South Carolina Bar Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year.

Media Mentions:



  • Certificates of need for acute care hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, home health agencies, skilled nursing facilities, and imaging facilities
  • Non-applicability determinations for various facilities, including medical office building projects, renovation projects, equipment projects, and hospital closures
  • Defended multiple certificate of need and exemption challenges related to South Carolina facilities
  • Advised hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, freestanding emergency/urgent care centers, skilled nursing centers, and birthing centers on licensure and certification issues
  • Assisted physicians, nurses, social workers, substance abuse counselors, and opioid treatment centers in licensure and certification matters, including appeals of license denials and adverse licensure actions
  • Resolved disputes over survey or site visit processes and findings, including licensure, life safety, certification, and construction surveys
  • Advised regarding ramp down and closure process for three acute care hospitals
  • Led response to "immediate jeopardy" notification to acute care hospital
  • Assisted hospital and skilled nursing facility clients with responses to statements of deficiencies in state licensure, CMS, and accreditation surveys
  • Provided advice on COP compliance, including drafting of plans of correction, responding to statements of deficiency, and managing immediate jeopardy situations
  • Led or participated in Joint Commission and DNV survey teams, including preparation and on-site response

Fraud & Abuse:

  • Advised physician groups, hospitals, and other health care providers on joint venture and other arrangements with health care entities
  • Advised physicians and hospitals on Stark law exceptions for wide variety of transactions and arrangements
  • Defended laboratory during DOJ investigation into business arrangements with referring physicians
  • Defended physician group during DOJ/DEA dispensary investigation
  • Assisted hospital and physician groups in responding to 340B, ZPIC and RAC audits
  • Assisted hospital and physician clients in submitting voluntary repayments to federal health care programs following discoveries of overpayments
  • Provided advice regarding potential relationships between referral sources

Physician-specific issues (physician practice management, contracting, integration):

  • Advised on the formation of hospital networks
  • Assisted physician groups on operations, business and regulatory issues
  • Advised on terminating physicians who are exhibiting quality of care issues
  • Provided guidance on medical staff issues and employed physician contracting
  • Drafted or reviewed physician PEAs and mid-level EAs
  • Provided risk management and compliance training for physician groups
  • Advised on crisis management, HR, behavioral issues
  • Negotiated and drafted service line co-management agreements
  • Drafted administrator employment agreements
  • Drafted and negotiated various agreements with physicians and physician groups, including employment, independent contractor, call coverage, recruitment, services, practice formations, practice buy-ins and buy-outs (and associated disputes), as well as office or equipment leases and subleases

Risk Management/Other:

  • Act as outside general counsel to hospitals
  • Act as advice counsel on operational issues to various providers
  • Perform compliance surveys for various providers
  • Perform risk management surveys
  • Perform medical staff and non-physician staff training on a variety of subjects
  • Perform medical staff committee training on a variety of subjects
  • Advised on drafting of various legislation affecting health care providers, including medical malpractice tort reform, notice of intent process, birth center accreditation, peer review