Photo of Heather O. Berchem

As Chair of the Firm's Regulatory Department, Long-Term Care Practice Group and a member of the Health Care and Information Security and Privacy Practice Groups, Heather Berchem advises nursing homes, assisted living communities, CCRCs, hospitals, and home health care and hospice agencies on a wide range of regulatory, compliance, risk management and reimbursement issues.  Her practice includes assisting clients in both Connecticut and Massachusetts with licensure; certificates of need; changes of ownership; Medicare and Medicaid audits and appeals; informal dispute resolution and other survey and certification issues; HIPAA compliance; investigation and reporting of security breaches; contract and policy drafting and review; developing and implementing corporate compliance programs; and responding to subpoenas and investigations by federal and state agencies.

Heather serves as counsel to the Connecticut Association of Health Care Facilities and the Connecticut Assisted Living Association. She serves on the American Health Care Association's National Legal Committee, is a contributing author of Fifty State Survey of Certificate of Need and Licensure: Nursing Homes, Assisted Living, Home Health, and Hospice and a co-author of the “Assisted Living Communities and Continuing Care Retirement Communities” chapter in The Post-Acute Care Handbook: Regulatory, Risk and Compliance Issues, both published by the American Health Lawyers Association.  Heather has lectured on a wide variety of long-term care and health care topics both at the state and national level.  She also served as a member of the Editorial Advisory Board for the American Health Lawyers Association's ("AHLA") LTC-SIR Advisor.  Heather is listed as a leading healthcare lawyer in Chambers USA, Chambers & Partners-Publishing ( and in Connecticut Super Lawyers®.

Heather received her B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley and her law degree from Boston University School of Law. Prior to joining Murtha Cullina in 1997, she was an associate at Schwartz, Shaw & Griffith in Boston, MA, where she handled health care criminal defense matters. Heather is admitted to practice in Connecticut and Massachusetts.


On January 21, 2021, President Biden issued an Executive Order on Protecting Worker Health and Safety. The order directed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to take action to reduce the risk that workers may contract COVID-19 in the workplace. On June 10, 2021, OSHA announced a highly-anticipated Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) setting forth steps that employers in the healthcare industry must take to protect workers from COVID-19 risks while the pandemic is ongoing. The ETS will become effective 14 days after it is formally published in the Federal Register.
Continue Reading OSHA Announces COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard for Healthcare Industry