Hal Teitelbaum is not your typical law school graduate. For starters, consider the number and type of degrees he earned prior to his studies at Columbia Law School. Teitelbaum, a medical oncologist and hematologist by training, holds a bachelor of science degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a business degree from Columbia Business School, a medical degree from Albany Medical College, and completed his post-graduate medical education at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
Teitelbaum started a solo medical practice in Orange County, N.Y. in 1982, and in the mid-1990s founded Crystal Run Healthcare, a multi-specialty group medical practice that now includes 250 physicians (including 100 partners), in 15 locations in the mid-Hudson and Catskill regions of New York.
The desire to master “new tools for analysis” to help manage his growing practice led him to pursue the Executive M.B.A. he earned in 1998, but Teitelbaum came to realize that the future of his practice increasingly depended on understanding the complexities of health care law. He enrolled at the Law School in 2009.
"For better or for worse, I am very into micromanagement, and I want to understand what I’m doing,” says Teitelbaum, who serves as the company’s managing partner and CEO. “Crystal Run has attorneys, and we have in-house counsel, but at the end of the day, the buck stops here.”
It was fortuitous that Congress passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act during his time at the Law School, Teitelbaum says. During a health care law seminar taught by Professor Steven B. Epstein, he engaged in comprehensive analysis of the new legislation and developed a level of expertise that will serve him well at Crystal Run. The practice is one of the first 27 nationwide selected as an Accountable Care Organization by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
"Under this new care model, provider reimbursements are tied to quality care metrics to improve care while eliminating unnecessary costs. “I am committed to changing the health care system by doing things rather than talking about them,” Teitelbaum says.