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Phoenix, Arizona 85004
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Richard B. Burnham

Founding Member

Practice Areas

Education

  • J.D., Northwestern University, 1976
  • B.A., with distinction, George Washington University, 1973
  • Profile
  • Experience
  • Professional + Civic

Dick is a founding member of Gammage & Burnham. Since his admission to the Arizona Bar in 1976, he has developed an extensive commercial litigation, administrative law and legislative practice which evolved to emphasize health care reimbursement matters. He and the firm’s other health care lawyers represent, or have represented, essentially every hospital facility within Arizona, as well as other types of medical providers.

In the 1970’s Dick brought successful litigation against Arizona’s counties holding them liable for care provided by private hospitals to patients who were factually qualified for county provided indigent health care but who failed to complete the application process. This liability of the counties continued after the 1982 implementation of Arizona’s version of Medicaid called “AHCCCS” and existed until it was legislatively abolished in the early 2000’s. A final settlement of Maricopa County’s “tail” liability for this treatment in the amount of $45,000,000 was reached in 2013.

In 1980 Dick lobbied the adoption of the AHCCCS program on behalf of St. Joseph’s Hospital & Medical Center. Upon the adoption of AHCCCS the State assigned its members to private HMO’s and assigned administration of the program to a subsidiary of the McDonell Douglas Corporation. Within the first two years of the program the major AHCCCS plans went bankrupt. He then represented his various hospital clients in connection with the bankruptcy proceedings of the plans. On behalf of his clients, he sued the State and the private administrator of the program for negligent supervision of the plans. This litigation resulted in settlements of approximately $20,000,000. Throughout the 1980’s and to the present, he and other Gammage & Burnham attorneys have handled myriad reimbursement disputes with the State AHCCCS program, its contractors, other governmental entities and private health insurers.

In 2001 Dick successfully handled an appeal in Andrews, et al. v. Samaritan Health System, 201 Ariz. 379, 36 P.3d 57 (App. 2001) which ruled that hospitals could recover discounts granted to health insurers from personal injury settlements. This ruling has generated millions of dollars annually for hospitals.

Dick has handled over 40 reported appellate decisions with an overwhelmingly favorable won/lost record. He has litigated in a variety of courts including the United States Supreme Court, the United States Claims Court, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the Arizona Supreme Court, the Arizona Court of Appeals and the Arizona trial courts.

Prior to founding Gammage & Burnham Dick was a partner with Jennings Strouss and Salmon. In 1983 he founded Gammage & Burnham with fellow partners Grady Gammage and Mike King.

Court Admissions

  • State Bar of Arizona
  • United States District Court, District of Arizona
  • United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • United States Court of Federal Claims
  • United States Supreme Court

Professional & Community Involvement

  • Maricopa County Bar Association, Member
  • Health Care Financial Management Association
  • American Health Lawyers Association
  • Arizona Zoological Society, Past President and Board Member
  • Arizona Center for Nature Conservation, Board Member
  • The Saint Joseph’s Hospital Foundation, Board Member