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The Evolution of Law (Aric Martin interview with Senior Living Research)

Aric Martin was recently interviewed by Claire Krawsczyn, a writer for Senior Living Research (a publication owned and operated by BlueSky Creative Inc.), and published in January, 2022. We have attached the article written by Senior Living Research, and reprinted the text below with permission.

Senior Living Research – Evolution of Law

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The Evolution of Law—and How to Make it Work for You

Legal service delivery models are evolving and becoming more cost-effective, and it is time for skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) to take advantage of them.

One intriguing example comes from the post-acute and senior living law firm, ROLF, who recently launched an innovative new platform called EVOLVE to provide on-demand legal solutions specifically for the skilled nursing industry. According to EVOLVE, it is the “faster, easier, and more economical way for skilled nursing facilities to obtain the tools that they need to respond to common legal and regulatory matters.”

At the heart of the innovative platform is proactive law practice and this makes all the difference, according to Aric Martin, founder of EVOLVE and ROLF’s Managing Partner and Chief Innovation Officer. EVOLVE combines the shared experience of ROLF’s team of focused SNF-lawyers and the power of technology to offer the skilled nursing industry an alternative to the traditional lawyer-for-hire.

While lawyers have traditionally thought of themselves as unable to be replaced by technology, EVOLVE aims to do just that—in certain circumstances. “There have been great examples of innovation in other industries with highly skilled professionals that typically charge high-dollar amounts for their knowledge,” Martin said. “Look at WebMD and TurboTax. They are taking the availability of cloud-based technology and putting more information and more independence into the hands of consumers for more general application. This leaves the highly skilled professionals available for the more specific and challenging work within their field. EVOLVE is looking at technology and innovation in the same way.”

To that end, EVOLVE provides skilled nursing facilities subscription-based practical guidance, tools, and solutions to assist with their most common legal and regulatory issues. For example, all skilled nursing facilities need to have a compliance and ethics program in place. Enter EVOLVE Compliance. Subscribers to the compliance product have access to an easily customizable program that is geared specifically toward skilled nursing facilities, as well as an automated reporting tool to collect and track compliance reports, sample training, and guidance for approaching common tasks like investigations.

An additional benefit of using application-based legal solutions like EVOLVE is that guidance and documents are regularly updated and changed within the EVOLVE platform, and subscribers can pull their latest versions on demand. While a lawyer’s job is typically complete as soon as a document is sent to the client, EVOLVE’s materials are updated as laws and guidance change. This puts the power back in the facility’s hands to get up-to-date forms they need when they need them without the standard hourly fees of lawyers—which, Martin noted, is essential for more specific and nuanced legal agreements. However, for the day-to-day and basic issues, the EVOLVE platform will keep subscribers covered.

“EVOLVE is looking out over the horizon to build tools that will be accessible and convenient for skilled nursing centers with general applicability,” Martin explained. “It offers SNFs and operators the opportunity to be proactive with having their basic documents in place without spending their entire budget on these forms, which are fairly easy to customize. Then, centers can use their budgets and time to focus on more specific and niche needs.”

While Martin has been working on the concept of subscription-based legal services for skilled nursing centers for some time, the need for a platform like EVOLVE crystallized even more during the COVID-19 pandemic. Martin and his team at ROLF correctly anticipated a flood of similar questions and requests from skilled nursing center clients about the constantly changing guidance and requirements from CMS and the CDC during the pandemic. “We were right in our prediction that hundreds of providers were going to be asking us similar questions and have a need for the same materials,” Martin said. The team quickly built a COVID-19 product offering analysis and answers to frequent questions, sample communication forms, and policies on testing, visitation, and more.

While the COVID-19 materials were offered by EVOLVE free of charge as a service to the SNF industry, the success of this proactive approach solidified the need for similar products in different areas. EVOLVE has now started development of a Store where it can provide quick response materials to facilities for individual download, outside of its current subscription- based offerings. And, while all materials will be drafted by attorneys who focus their practices on representing SNFs, purchasers will be able to download the documents at a fraction of the cost of buying them from a law firm – think Rocket Lawyer for SNFs.

Today, EVOLVE offers legal packages and products in four specific areas: Compliance, Admissions, COVID-19, and Revenue. Two areas, HIPAA and Contracts, are currently in development. The Store was launched with materials to support the recent COVID-19 vaccine mandate, and is being built out to address many more areas in the weeks and months to come.

To learn more about EVOLVE and its current offerings, visit www.evolve-legal.com.

Aric Martin: Aric Martin serves as ROLF’s Managing Partner and Chief Innovation Officer. He is in charge of the firm’s overall strategic direction. He concentrates his legal practice in the representation of long-term care, post-acute and senior living providers in a wide range of regulatory, transactional, litigation, operational, governmental investigation, and strategic matters. In addition, he runs EVOLVE, the firm’s innovation lab and legal software division. Aric has been with ROLF since 1995.