Sarah Swank has been a health attorney for over twenty years providing strategic advice to hospitals, academic medical centers, physician organizations, healthcare associations, and healthcare startups. Sarah assists with strategic development and approaches to the intersection of artificial intelligence (AI), compliance programs, value-based care, managed care contracting, virtual care, care coordination, and population health. As a former senior in-house counsel for two national healthcare systems, she provides practical solutions to clients navigating a complex and changing regulatory landscape to promote innovation and thoughtful growth. She is passionate about supporting clients through the development of compliant programs that provide equitable care.
I provide strategic advice to executive leadership at health systems, hospitals, academic medical centers, long-term care, and large physician organizations. I advise clients regarding accountable care organizations (ACOs) and clinically integrated networks through all stages of development, including application into the Medicare Shared Savings Program. I assist with innovative approaches to pay-for-performance, managed care contracting, care coordination, and population health. My experience includes ACOs with multiple hospital systems, physician-owned practices, joint venture models, medical faculty entities, Federally Qualified Health Centers, children’s hospitals, health information exchanges, long-term care facilities, and hospital-owned health plans.
I counsel major academic medical centers, nationally recognized health systems, and ACOs in launching and growing complex operational programs, such as national and international telehealth, digital health, and AI programs. I work directly with in-house counsel and senior and clinical leadership on the strategic development and implementation of telehealth and e-health programs. Additionally, I assist technology startups with regulatory and corporate advice, including HIPAA compliance. I recently assisted an internationally known academic medical center with planning, implementation, and advice regarding telemedicine credentialing, governance, operational, HIPAA, and fraud and abuse matters. My background includes advising academic medical centers on international second-opinion programs and strategic planning regarding programmatic international expansion. I have firsthand experience managing these issues as in-house counsel.
My fraud and abuse background focuses on advice and guidance under Stark, Anti-Kickback Statute, Civil Monetary Penalties, and the False Claims Act related to telehealth, physician transactions, compliance programs, graduate medical education, clinical research, medical director and other physician arrangements, investigations, and compliance efforts after a corporate integrity agreement (CIA). I integrate operational issues with technical analysis of the fraud and abuse laws to suggest practical solutions. My experience includes acting as fraud and abuse counsel during negotiations with the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Stark and medical necessity, assisting with structuring physician arrangements and transactions, conducting internal investigations, and advising regarding CIA implementation post-settlement. In addition, I support compliance programs and HIPAA advice and investigations, including cybersecurity and data breaches.
My work in the area of clinical research and institutional review boards (IRBs) includes due diligence reviews during hospital mergers, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) audits, reporting, program evaluation, and compliance of IRB and research programs for academic medical centers and community hospitals. I successfully prepare and advise clients during FDA audits, assist with the integration of research activities into compliance programs and electronic health records and digital implementation, perform HIPAA compliance assessments, and provide training and education to IRBs.
I provide health equity thought leadership and supports healthcare providers, technology companies, and associations navigating the complex and changing legal and health policy framework around health equity. I work in cross-disciplinary teams to ensure compliance with access and safety requirements, data use and reporting, clinical research, fraud and abuse, and other federal and state requirements related to access and health equity. I helpclients in compliance and innovation around health equity as it becomes a measurable standard tied to payment reform, social determinants of health (SDOH), and population health activities. These standards are found in policies and procedures, governance activities monitoring, workforce initiatives, and other compliance and operational activities. Health equity is not done with one training program, but through ongoing commitment, advising and change. Health equity goes beyond access to healthcare and insurance to ensure that communities have the right to a healthy life and life expectancy.
Virtual care models will be integrated into care delivery with a focus on health equity and data use including AI, wearables and remote patient monitoring. As we move toward value-based care, care coordination, and digital health solutions, my historic perspective, real-world operational knowledge and practical solutions provide valuable insight into where the healthcare industry and health policy are heading and how stay nimble in a changing regulatory environment.
Sarah Swank is a national speaker, author, and thought leader in supporting organizations to navigate the rapid changes occurring in healthcare, including payment reform, ACOs, telehealth, and artificial intelligence. Sarah continues to be an innovator in the health care arena, having presented and authored on various topics, including serving as the first speaker at both HIMSS and the American Telemedicine Association on ACOs as well as the first professional to speak on telehealth issues with the American Health Lawyer Association. A selection of her standout presentations and publications over the years include the following:
American Health Law Association | July 12, 2022
Washington, DC Healthcare counsel Sarah Swank joined the podcast to discuss digital health equity as a social determinant of health, legal barriers and opportunities in expanding digital health equity, and the role of health lawyers in the digital health equity debate.
Journal of Health and Life Sciences Law | May 24, 2022
Washington, DC Healthcare counsel Sarah Swank co-authored this article for the American Health Law Association publication, exploring what digital health equity is, current barriers and legal considerations related to health equity, and tactics and solutions that could potentially improve digital health equity.
American Health Law Association | May 09, 2022
Washington, DC Healthcare counsel Sarah Swank is joined on the podcast by two hospital GCs to discuss the “Great Resignation,” the future of the healthcare workforce and healthcare delivery, and the mental health crisis. Sarah and the other panelists also discuss how the pandemic has affected their lives professionally and personally.
Washington Business Journal | April 22, 2022
Washington, DC Healthcare counsel Sarah Swank is quoted throughout this deep dive into Greater Washington hospitals and their fiscal challenges after two-plus years weathering the pandemic. Sarah provides thought leadership on supply chain issues, staffing challenges, payment reform, and the essential nature of telemedicine moving forward.
American Health Law Association | March 28, 2022
In this podcast episode, Washington, DC Healthcare counsel Sarah Swank joins leaders from the American Society of Anesthesiologists and the Association of American Medical Colleges to discuss evolutions within the healthcare field and changes to health policy resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, providing their insight on the future of healthcare.
American Health Law Association | February 18, 2022
In this podcast episode, Washington, DC Healthcare counsel Sarah Swank speaks about supply chain distribution challenges that providers have faced during the pandemic, including how providers are shifting their approaches to supply chain issues.
American Health Law Association | February 15, 2022
In this podcast episode, Washington, DC Healthcare counsel Sarah Swank speaks with three GCs of children’s hospitals about their experiences, and those of their institutions, during the pandemic. They discuss challenges related to staffing, working remotely, and treating patients with mental health issues.
McKnight’s Senior Living | January 18, 2022
Washington, DC Healthcare counsel Sarah Swank is featured in this article covering supply chain challenges among senior care providers. Among the areas discussed, Sarah notes how the on-hand supply model in healthcare settings could change moving forward and how supply chain fraud remains an issue.
Health Law Connections | January 01, 2022
In this roundup of health law trends to watch, Washington, DC Healthcare counsel Sarah Swank co-authored a section on continued supply chain challenges, looking at several key factors as well as the potential lasting impact on how the medical supply chain affects the delivery of healthcare.
Compliance Today | August 02, 2021
Washington, DC Health Care counsel Sarah Swank contributed this article outlining seven tips for health care executives to help them stay compliant with the new rules, regulations, and trends resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic—examples of which include economic relief for providers, various waived healthcare requirements, and a focus on digital/telehealth.
Skilled Nursing News | July 26, 2021
This article, covering advocates’ push for vaccine mandates among long-term care providers, quotes Washington, DC Health Care counsel Sarah Swank on the importance of public health officials deciding what is safe in health care settings, and the understanding across states that health care differs from other settings in many respects.
American Health Law Association | July 13, 2021
In this podcast episode, Washington, DC Health Care counsel Sarah Swank speaks with two health care general counsel about the role of caregivers during the pandemic, the challenges they are facing, and how their organizations are providing them with the support they need.
American Health Law Association | April 20, 2021
In this podcast episode, Washington, D.C. Health Care counsel Sarah Swank speaks with the chief medical officer of Equality Health and a Chicago anesthesiologist about how the health care system has changed over the past decade and the effects of health care laws and regulations on physician practices.
American Health Law Association | April 06, 2021
In this podcast, Washington, D.C. Health Care counsel Sarah Swank reunites with the three hospital general counsel from last year’ s initial episode, reflecting on their experiences over the past year and how the pandemic has exposed the strengths and weaknesses of the U.S. health care system and lessons learned.
AHLA Health Law Connections | April 01, 2021
Washington, D.C. Health Care counsel Sarah Swank wrote this article recapping a year of her “Speaking of Health Law” podcast series with general counsel from across the health care landscape. Sarah includes insights from several podcast guests reflecting on the experiences and lessons learned over the past year.
American Health Law Association | March 30, 2021
In this podcast episode, Washington, DC Health Care counsel Sarah Swank speaks with three assistant professors at Johns Hopkins University, who are also co-founders and co-directors of the Johns Hopkins Post-Acute COVID-19 Team Clinic, about the work they are doing related to COVID-19’s long-term effects.
Boston Business Journal | March 24, 2021
This article on Amazon’s plan to offer its own telehealth service to the company’s Massachusetts workers this summer quotes Washington, DC Health Care counsel Sarah Swank on potential telehealth challenges once temporary cross-state provider licenses expire 30 days after the state of emergency ends.
Washington Business Journal | March 22, 2021
This article on Amazon’s plan to pilot its own in-person health care offerings to HQ2 employees quotes Washington, D.C. Health Care counsel Sarah Swank extensively on the different approaches telehealth providers are taking to launching their services, and regulatory challenges they may face post-COVID.
American Health Law Association | March 08, 2021
In this podcast episode, Washington, DC Health Care counsel Sarah Swank speaks with the Chief Legal Officer of Geisinger Health System and the Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of Northwell Health about what they hope the next few months will bring, including longer-term trends such as the increased role of telehealth, payment reform, and mental health issues.
American Health Law Association | December 18, 2020
In this podcast episode, Washington, D.C. Health Care counsel Sarah Swank speaks with the Chief Health Care Officer of the Association of American Medical Colleges and a law professor from Wayne State University about what providers need to know now about crisis standards of care to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
American Health Law Association | November 05, 2020
In this podcast episode, Washington, D.C. Health Care counsel Sarah Swank speaks with two health care general counsel about how their hospitals are managing the pandemic response, including how they are dealing with patient load and planning for the future, and supply and workforce issues.
Health Law Connections | October 23, 2020
The latest issue of the American Health Law Association’s magazine includes a Q&A with Washington, D.C. Health Care counsel Sarah Swank. In addition to highlighting Sarah’s practice, the feature covers some of Sarah’s very early roles, family life and how she’s managing through the pandemic.
Healthcare Business Today | September 06, 2020
Washington, DC Health Care counsel Sarah Swank contributed this article, which analyzes an August 2020 executive order on the expansion of telehealth services amid the coronavirus pandemic. In the article, Sarah discusses what needs to happen in order for these changes to remain in place after the public health emergency has passed.
American Health Law Association | August 31, 2020
In this podcast episode, Washington, D.C. Health Care counsel Sarah Swank speaks with University of Kansas Health System Senior Vice President and General Counsel Dan Peters and University of Southern California Vice President and Managing General Counsel Stacy Rummel Bratcher about how their hospitals are managing the pandemic response.
American Health Law Association | August 06, 2020
In this podcast episode, Washington DC Health Care counsel Sarah Swank speaks with executives of two health care organizations about how their jobs have changed during the pandemic, discussing the challenges of remote workforces, ongoing regulatory changes and scarce resources, among other topics.
HealthTech | July 10, 2020
This article about automation’s increased importance in health care during the pandemic quotes Washington, DC, Health Care counsel Sarah Swank from a panel she moderated at the American Telemedicine Association’s recent 2020 conference. Sarah noted that we are at the very beginning of AI’s expansion in health care.
American Health Law Association | June 30, 2020
In this podcast episode, Washington, DC, Health Care counsel Sarah Swank speaks with two general counsel on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic about issues that arise with remote work such as cybersecurity, employee morale, and how things might change in the future.
HealthTech | June 24, 2020
This article, covering a panel discussion from the American Telemedicine Association’s 2020 conference, quotes Washington, DC, Health Care counsel Sarah Swank on the rapidly expanding role of artificial intelligence in virtual care. Sarah moderated the panel, which included health care stakeholders from across the country.
American Health Law Association | June 18, 2020
In this podcast episode, Washington, DC, Health Care counsel Sarah Swank speaks with two executives on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic about the future of telehealth, and using the pandemic to inform how we should address future public health emergencies. The speakers also discuss how the pandemic may reshape the health care industry, particularly primary care.
American Health Law Association | May 14, 2020
In this podcast episode, Washington, DC, Health Care counsel Sarah Swank speaks with two general counsel on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic about how COVID-19 has affected their associations and advocacy activities, and how they are dealing with the related challenges.
American Health Lawyers Association | April 01, 2020
In this podcast, Washington, D.C. Health Care counsel Sarah Swank speaks with three hospital general counsel on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.
AHLA Speaking of Health Law | March 26, 2020
Washington DC Health Care counsel Sarah Swank appeared on this American Health Lawyers Association podcast to discuss how medical facilities are ramping up telehealth programs in response to the pandemic.
Healthcare Financial Management Association | March 24, 2020
Washington, DC, Health Care counsel Sarah Swank discusses how waivers from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have allowed hospitals to pursue flexible approaches to patient care during the wave of COVID-19 infections.
Washington Business Journal | March 20, 2020
Washington, DC, Health Care counsel Sarah Swank talks about how a new waiver that expanded the list of video conference apps and platforms permitted under HIPAA for telemedicine could be a game-changer for the industry.
Inside Reproductive Health | March 19, 2020
In this podcast episode, Los Angeles Health Care partner Jill Gordon and Washington, DC, Health Care counsel Sarah Swank discuss new regulations around using telemedicine to reach patients in a time of community quarantines.
Washington Business Journal | March 18, 2020
This article features Washington, DC, Health Care counsel Sarah Swank discussing how hospitals are adjusting to changes in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, and how many hospitals can employ lessons learned during the 2008 recession.
Law360 | March 17, 2020
This Q&A with health care attorneys quotes Washington, DC, Health Care counsel Sarah Swank related to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Section 1135 waivers and what they mean in practice.
AIMed | March 09, 2020
Washington, DC, Health Care counsel Sarah Swank wrote this contributed article analyzing how organizations can avoid fraud and abuse pitfalls as clinical AI services become more prevalent in the industry.
Healthcare & Data Privacy Alert | 07.12.22
Healthcare | 05.13.22
Healthcare Alert | 03.07.22
Data Privacy & Healthcare Alert | 02.14.22
Higher Education Alert | 05.21.21
Retail Alert | 05.17.21
Healthcare | 04.09.21
02.17.21 | Virtual Presentation
01.06.21 | Online Presentation
06.25.20 | Webinar
12.03.19 | Webinar
11.14.19 | Webinar
Villanova University School of Law, J.D., cum laude
Skidmore College, B.A., cum laude
District of Columbia