Sunny J. Levine is a health care lawyer and member of Foley & Lardner’s Telemedicine & Digital Health Industry Team. Sunny’s practice includes regulatory compliance issues associated with telemedicine, digital health and health innovation. She helps emerging companies and entrepreneurs navigate state and federal laws governing virtual care offerings across multi-state footprints. Her work involves the intersection of medical practice rules, business structures and the corporate practice of medicine, professional licensure, telemedicine prescribing and informed consent. Sunny is a member of the American Telemedicine Association’s Telemental Health Special Interest Group.
Within the industry, she has a particular focus and reputation on advising technology-enabled behavioral health and substance use disorder treatment companies, serving as Co-Chair of the firm’s Behavioral Health group. Sunny is actively involved in ways to expand treatment for opioid use disorder and other substance use disorders. She seeks to gain a holistic understanding of her clients’ areas of practice to best assist with their goals.
"Foley is the premier firm for telehealth counsel."
"A market leader in telemedicine issues." "This is the Dream Team."
- Chambers USA: America's Leading Business Lawyers (2020, 2021)
Behavioral Health and Substance Use Disorder Treatment
- Assisted opioid use disorder treatment company in adding telehealth to their model. The work included determining substance use disorder licensing requirements, controlled substance prescribing limitations, opioid treatment prescribing requirements, and analyzing the interplay between telehealth and substance use disorder treatment in multiple states. The guidance helped the company determine potential strategic market entry points for a successful launch and subsequent expansion.
- Assisted “click-and-mortar” tele-behavioral health company in launching an opioid use disorder treatment service line. The project included reviewing state law on substance use disorder licensing, advising on prescribing Suboxone (buprenorphine) via telehealth under state and federal law, and reviewing a provider toolkit of legal and regulatory considerations for an opioid use disorder treatment program.
- Helped with direct to consumer telehealth company involved in the treatment of substance use disorder, and specifically, alcohol use disorder. The work included determining substance use disorder licensing requirements, analyzing the ability to provide substance use disorder treatment via telehealth in multiple states, and assisting with building out the corporate structure, to facilitate the company’s entry into new states.
- Assisted in the formation and operationalization of a national provider-based behavioral health telehealth platform and the subsequent expansion through multiple states. This project included advising on corporate structures, telehealth multi-state practice, and licensure and supervision issues. This work enabled the client to utilize internal resources to fill an area of need rather than outsourcing the service.
- Represented Magellan Health Inc. in growing their behavioral health presence through key acquisitions, including the majority interest in Bayless Integrated Healthcare, a leading integrated behavioral and primary care provider in Arizona, and a minority equity investment into Kaden Health, Inc., the New York-based digital medication-assisted treatment (vMAT) company.
- Advised an emerging virtual behavioral health company in various issues related to compliance with federal and state controlled substance prescribing, DEA registration issues, and state controlled substance registration issues. The work enabled the company to maintain a presence in all 50-states.
Telemedicine and Digital Health
- Provider Scope of Practice. Represented direct-to-consumer telehealth company utilizing advanced practice registered nurses in nation-wide expansion. Advised on scope of practice, collaborative practice, prescribing, and telehealth practice standards in all 50 states. Based on this work, the company could determine which states allow for a telehealth-only APRN model.
- Remote Patient Monitoring and Clinical Staff. Worked with digital health company offering remote patient monitoring services, advising on the development of their corporate structure across multiple states. The work included reimbursement and billing considerations along with nurse practitioner, clinical staff, and auxiliary personnel scope of practice and supervision requirements. Through these efforts, the company was able to comply with regulatory requirements while launching a scalable, affordable staffing model for RPM.
- Telehealth Physical Therapy. Helped a physical therapy technology company successfully create a national platform for delivering professional physical therapy services via telehealth. The work involved advice on corporate practice of physical therapy, creation of a multistate professional corporation model, and the various requirements to create a valid therapist-patient relationship via telehealth.
- Telehealth and COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Waivers. Advised various telehealth companies on navigating federal and state changes in provider licensure and telehealth modalities during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The work allowed the companies to immediately take action and expand their platforms to provide services across multiple states.
- Telemedicine Legislative Analysis. Advised behavioral health company on federal and state legislative updates and interpretations of same as it relates to remote prescribing of controlled substances.
- Co-author, “HHS Proposes to Align Federal Substance Use Disorder Law with HIPAA,” Health Care Law Today (November 30, 2022)
- Presenter, "8th Annual Telemental Health Grand Rounds Landscape A national and local perspective," Maryland Telemental Health Program (April 21, 2022)
- Co-author, “Behavioral Health Trends for 2022,” Health Care Law Today (March 31, 2022)
- Co-presenter, “Panel on Telehealth Regulatory Updates,” University of Richmond’s Journal of Law and Technology’s Virtual Symposium (February 4, 2022)
- Co-author, “Medicare Telehealth and Substance Use Disorder Treatment: New CMS Reimbursement Requirements,” Health Care Law Today (January 10, 2022)
- Co-author, “New Jersey Allows Asynchronous Telemedicine,” Health Care Law Today (January 6, 2022)
- Co-author, “PE Firm Pays Record Settlement for Allegedly Deficient Health Services: Identifying Traps for the Unwary,” Health Care Law Today (October 28, 2021)
- Co-presenter, “Recent Developments in Behavioral Health (BH) and Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Treatment,” ACC Health Law Network Legal Quick (September 9, 2021)
- Co-author, “New Jersey’s Telemedicine Business Registry: What You Need to Know,” Health Care Law Today (September 1, 2021)
- “Telemedicine: Reimbursement Challenges and Opportunities,” AHLA Telemedicine Webinar Series (March 18, 2021)
- Co-author, “50-State Survey of Telehealth Commercial Insurance Laws,” Health Care Law Today (February 9, 2021)
- Co-author, “Top Ten Issues in Health Law 2021,” American Health Law Association’s Health Law Connections (January 1, 2021)
- Co-author, “Georgia Finalizes New Telemedicine Practice Rules,” Health Care Law Today (October 21, 2020)
- Co-author, “Telehealth and Substance Use Disorder Treatment: State Law Issues,” Health Care Law Today (August 6, 2020)
- "The Building Blocks to Telehealth Success: How to Structure a Compliant Telehealth Offering," California Telehealth Resource Center’s Telehealth Summit Webinar Series (August 5, 2020)
- Co-author, “Telehealth and Substance Use Disorder Treatment: Regulatory Barriers to Entry Can Mean Opportunity for Innovative Companies,” Health Care Law Today (August 3, 2020)
- Co-author, “Patient Records: Part 2 Final Rule Reduces Substance Use Disorder Record Sharing Barriers,” Health Care Law Today (July 15, 2020)
- “Telehealth: Where We Were, Where We Are, and Where We Are Headed,” Celesq Attorneys Ed Center Webinar (June 2, 2020)
- Author, “COVID-19: DEA and SAMHSA Guidance for Treating Opioid Use Disorders via Telehealth,” Health Care Law Today (April 9, 2020)
- Co-author, “COVID-19: New Florida Executive Order on Telehealth and Immunization Coverage for State Employees During Public Health Emergency,” Health Care Law Today (April 6, 2020)
- Co-author, “Florida Issues New Emergency Order Further Relaxing Licensure, Telehealth, and Practice Standards to Combat COVID-19,” Health Care Law Today (March 24, 2020)
- Co-author, “Managing the Commercial Impact of Coronavirus: Emergency Order Relaxes Florida Licensure, Telehealth, and Practice Standards to Combat COVID-19,” Health Care Law Today (March 20, 2020)
- Co-author, “COVID-19: Florida Obtains First Medicaid 1135 Waivers Related to COVID-19 – 5 Key Takeaways,” Health Care Law Today (March 20, 2020)
- Co-author, “COVID-19: DEA Confirms Public Health Emergency Exception for Telemedicine Prescribing of Controlled Substances,” Health Care Law Today (March 18, 2020)
- Co-author, “Telehealth is Here to Stay: New 50 State Survey of Commercial Insurance Laws Reveals Progress,” Health Care Law Today (December 2, 2019)
- Co-author, “Fact or Fallacy: Is Telehealth Here to Stay?” HealthTech (August 2019)
- Author, “Direct Primary Care: Not insurance,” Hillsborough County Bar Association Lawyer Magazine (March - April, 2019)
Sunny received her law degree, with honors, from Stetson University College of Law, where she served as notes & comments editor for the Stetson Law Review and a member of the Philip C. Jessup International Moot Court Competition team. She is a graduate of Florida International University (B.A., magna cum laude).
Sunny is a member of the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) and the American Health Lawyers Association (AHLA). She is a co-chair of the Firm’s Behavioral Health group, a member of the Firm’s Black Attorneys Affinity Group, and co-chair of the Health Care Practice Group’s Associate Committee. Sunny is admitted to practice in Florida.