Sarah E. Coyne, Partner


Sarah Coyne guides her clients through regulatory compliance with the vast network of laws governing health care providers and their business partners. She has a longstanding practice advising regarding health care information and technology (including HIPAA, HITECH, meaningful use incentives and data breach considerations). As an eleven year veteran on the board of the HIPAA Collaborative of Wisconsin, she has significant and renowned experience in all aspects of HIPAA and its interface with Wisconsin law.

She works with groups of providers in creating collaborative arrangements, affiliations, mergers and acquisitions in light of the changing scope of health care reimbursement and quality/patient safety requirements and incentives. She has a robust practice in both proactively advising regarding legal fraud/abuse compliance (e.g. the Stark Law, the Anti-Kickback Statute and the False Claims Act), as well as representing entities who are being investigated, scrutinized or prosecuted by state and federal governmental entities.

Sarah advises hospitals, physician groups and other health care entities on the full gamut of legal considerations that they may encounter in their day-to-day operations (such as patient safety and quality-of-care issues, medical staff bylaws and structures, physician (and other practitioner) discipline/corrective action, implementation of technology and related risk management, legal compliance, maximization of meaningful use measures, payor-provider contracting, and electronic medical record arrangements.

Sarah has extensive and unique experience in advising, guiding and advocating for rural and small community hospitals. While Sarah is well known as an advisor to all sizes of hospitals and hospital systems, her knowledge and experience extend well beyond the hospital arena. She represents many players in the health & life sciences industry.

Sarah began professional life as an occupational therapist working in a hospital. She was inspired to go to law school when researching legal aspects of reporting to state government on her own time. She loves working with hospital administrators to avoid regulation traps and encumbrances and takes great satisfaction in successfully doing so. She also has a following for her (usually) humorous client alerts on cutting edge developments in health law.

Legal Services

Education and Honors

  • University of Wisconsin Law School (J.D., cum laude, 1995)
    • Order of the Coif
  • University of Wisconsin (O.T.R., with honors, 1987)
  • University of Wisconsin (B.S., with honors, 1987)

Bar Admissions

  • Wisconsin

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin, 1995
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin, 1995

Professional and Civic Activities

  • American Bar Association (Member, Health Law Section)
  • American Health Law Association (Member)
  • Wisconsin State Bar Association (Member, Health Law Section)
  • Fellows of the American Bar Foundation (Member)
  • Fellows of the Wisconsin Law Foundation (Member)
  • Wisconsin Association for Healthcare Quality (Member)
  • Wisconsin Hospital Association (Member)
  • Wisconsin Society for Healthcare Risk Management (Member)
  • International Association of Privacy Professionals (Member)
  • Practiced at the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital in Madison for four years
  • Experience as a registered occupational therapist
  • Invited Participant in Governor Doyle's eHealth Initiative Privacy and Security Task Force: Legal Workgroup, Implementations Workgroup, Solutions Workgroup
  • Executive Committee for HIPAA Collaborative of Wisconsin (HIPAA COW) and is active in its preemption workgroup and other workgroups related to confidentiality of health care information
  • Yellow Belt Certified in Lean Six Sigma (June 2015)
  • Adjunct Professor in Health Law, University of Wisconsin Law School
  • Legal Liaison for WisHHRA (2018)

Professional Recognition

  • Recognized as Best Lawyers® 2014, 2016, 2017, 2020 Madison Health Care Law "Lawyer of the Year"
  • Selected for inclusion in 2014- present Wisconsin Super Lawyers® list
  • Fellow of the Wisconsin Law Foundation Class of 2013
  • Selected as a "2013 Leader in the Law" by the Wisconsin Law Journal
  • Selected as the 2011 "Wisconsin Health Law Attorney of the Year" by the Health Law Section of the Wisconsin State Bar
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® (2009–present: Health Care Law)
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Peer Review Rated
  • Listed in Madison Magazine as a top lawyer in the area of health law
  • Fellow of the American Bar Foundation
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