Legal Advisory Committee

The Legal Advisory Board serves in an advisory capacity to the national office of AAPC, the AAPC National Advisory Board, and the AAPC Chapter Association. Members occasionally author articles on compliance and legal issues associated with medical coding for AAPC the Magazine, and speak on legal issues at AAPC events.

Timothy P. Blanchard
Blanchard Manning LLP
Prior to forming his own practice, Blanchard Manning LLP, in 2009, Mr. Blanchard practiced for 20 years with a leading international law firm. He handles health care regulatory and compliance issues, including coverage, billing, reimbursement, overpayment issues, fraud and abuse, and HIPAA privacy. He is a Fellow of the American Health Lawyers Association and a past chair of its Institute on Medicare and Medicaid Payment Issues. He has served on the AAPC's Legal Advisory Committee since its inception.

Julie E. Chicoine
Julie Chicoine is an Associate General Counsel with Sidra Medicine, a newly opened teaching facility, affiliated with Weill Cornell Medicine and located in Doha, Qatar, where she is advising on legal and regulatory issues. Prior to joining Sidra, Julie served as the Senior Vice President and General Counsel for the Texas Hospital Association, representing more than 450 Texas hospitals and health systems on state and federal health law and policy matters.

Julie also has several years of experience advising academic medical centers, both in private practice and as in-house counsel on matters including compliance, research, employment, risk management and health care reimbursement.

In addition to the practice of law, Julie is a former registered nurse and is accredited as a CPC and served as an advisor to the American Medical Association's CPT Advisory Committee for several years.

Julie earned her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Houston Law Center. She also holds a Bachelor of Science and Nursing degree from the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston and is admitted to the practice of law in Texas.

Karina Johnson, Esq.
Ms. Johnson brings a unique insight and passion to the healthcare industry by bridging her two great passions of healthcare and the law as a healthcare litigation attorney. Ms. Johnson is the current Head of the Litigation Department at Physicians’ Advocates, one of the nation's most acclaimed law firms specializing in the nationwide representation of doctors, medical groups, and physician organizations. The law firm is only one of a small handful in the nation to focus exclusively in advocacy for physicians on issues unrelated to malpractice litigation. Ms. Johnson champions providers in litigation involving diverse employment law matters, business practices, business contracts, practice formation, discrimination, wrongful termination, and medical board licensing disputes.

Ms. Johnson has medical coding experience in a variety of medical specialties. She has managed small medical offices throughout her career prior to being admitted to the bar in 2006 and has additional experience in compliance and auditing. In addition, Ms. Johnson loves to teach and share her expertise, avidly serving as volunteer assistant Medical Coding instructor and speaker.

Michael D. Miscoe
Mr. Miscoe has over 25 years of experience in healthcare coding and over 20 years as a forensic coding/compliance expert and consultant. He has provided forensic analysis and testimony as an expert witness on a wide range of coding and compliance issues in civil and criminal cases on behalf of providers and payers. Mr. Miscoe's law practice concentrates on representation of healthcare providers involved in post-payment disputes with commercial and government payers. He has an extensive national speaking background and has been published in numerous publications on a variety of coding, compliance and health law topics. He is the President of the AAPC National Advisory Board, is a member of the AAPC Legal Advisory Board and is the Chair of the AAPC Ethics Committee.

Christopher A. Parrella,
The Health Law Offices of Anthony C. Vitale, P.A.
Miami, Fl.
Christopher A. Parrella is a member of The Health Law Offices of Anthony C. Vitale, P.A. The firm was established in 1982 and is recognized nationwide as a leading defense firm in health care law and consulting. The firm concentrates exclusively in criminal, civil, overpayment, regulatory, licensure, and compliance representation for all health care provider/supplier types. Chris travels the country on behalf of a wide range of health care organizations lecturing on varying topics affecting their particular industries. He is a member of the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) National Legal Advisory Board and Ethics Committee. Chris is a Certified Professional Coder and Certified Professional Compliance Officer designated by the AAPC. He is also Certified in Healthcare Compliance by the Health Care Compliance Association of America (HCCA.) Chris received his Juris Doctor from the Massachusetts School of Law and is a member of the State Bar. He received his bachelor's degree from Stony Brook University.

Robert A. Pelaia, Esq.
Deputy General Counsel - University of South Florida
Mr. Pelaia provides a wide range of legal support services for the University of South Florida, with exclusive legal responsibility for USF Health and its related not-for-profit corporate support entities. Robert is certified as a Health Care Law Specialist by the Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization and Education. He is certified by AAPC as a professional coder (CPC) and a professional compliance officer (CPCO). Robert is a member of AAPC's Legal Advisory Board, a past member of AAPC's National Advisory Board (NAB) from 2009-2011, and he also served on AAPC's Chapter Association Board of Directors (AAPCCA) from 2007-2009. He is a member of the Tampa, Florida local chapter.

Stacy Harper
Spencer Fane LLP
Stacy Harper counsels healthcare providers, health plans, and other vendors serving the healthcare community on regulatory compliance, reimbursement, and data privacy and security issues. She is a member of her firm's healthcare team and chairs the firm's data privacy and cybersecurity practice. Stacy obtained her juris doctorate from the University of Kansas School of Law and master's degree in Health Service Administration from the University of Kansas School of Medicine. She is admitted to the bar in Kansas, Missouri, and Minnesota.