Bass partner leaving for HCA role

Health care law expert to be hospital owner's chief legal strategist

A well-known health care law expert at one of the city’s most prominent law firms will soon be leaving his position for the halls of the largest for-profit hospital chain in the world.

Attorney Scott Noonan has resigned his member position with the downtown office of Bass Berry & Sims, effective Dec. 31. He will assume the vice president and operations counsel role at HCA on Jan. 7, according to Ed Fishbough, HCA spokesman and head of of the company's corporate affairs department.

Noonan replaces Steve Clifton, who occupied the chief legal spot for more than 18 years. Clifton left the post in August and now works in a similar position with Naples, Fla.-based Health Management Associates. Noonan's move was first reported by Inside Baseball, a newsletter from local health care public affairs firm Jarrard Phillips Cate & Hancock.

Noonan, who earned both his bachelor's and law degrees at the University of Tennessee, could not be reached for comment Monday.