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Ballard Partners signs Ballad Health

Ballad Health is the post-merger name for Wellmont Health System & Mountain States Health Alliance

Tennessee-based Ballad Health has hired Ballard Partners for health care lobbying help in Washington D.C.

Ballad Health is the post-merger name for Wellmont Health System and Mountain States Health Alliance, which merged in 2018. The combined health system serves approximately 1.2 million people in Tennessee and Virginia.

The merger was opposed by the Federal Trade Commission, though it was able to continue despite the opposition thanks to what’s known as a “Certificate of Public Advantage” instrument available in Tennessee.

Still, the FTC has held workshops to field complaints from residents who say the merger has resulted in subpar access to care or inflated prices.

Ballad, for its part, said the merger allowed the two companies to pool their resources and create a more efficient health care network.

According to federal lobbying disclosures, Ballard Partners is representing Ballad by way of Baker Donelson, one of the largest law firms in the country. Handling the client are firm founder Brian Ballard and lobbyist Sylvester Lukis.

The new client is the latest for Ballard’s fast-growing Washington branch.

Since expanding to Washington, the firm has quickly risen to the top on K Street thanks to Ballard’s ties to the Donald Trump administration. He chaired the Trump Victory organization in Florida during the 2016 presidential election.

Ballard Partners has landed contracts with major businesses such as Amazon, Sprint and Uber. The firm also recently launched a full-service public relations branch headed up by former Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah and Jamie Rubin.

Ballard Partners is also one of the top firms in Florida when it comes to quarterly earnings, reeling in up to $22.1 million in state-level lobbying pay last year. Additionally, Ballard Partners reigned supreme in the second quarter of 2019, earning an estimated $5.15 million in state-level lobbying compensation.

The firm’s Washington office is also a lucrative venture, bringing in close to $5 million last quarter.

Written By

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.

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