Photo of Stephanie S. Sobkowiak

Stephanie Sobkowiak is a member of the Firm’s Executive Committee, Co-Chair of the Firm's Health Care Practice Group and prior Chair of the Firm’s Regulatory Department.  Stephanie’s practice includes representation of health systems, hospitals, physicians, physician groups and other clients in the health care industry. Her practice includes assisting those clients with a wide range of compliance, regulatory, managed care, risk management and reimbursement issues, including fraud and abuse, payor contracts, medical staff and credentialing matters, Certificates of Need and HIPAA and related security breaches.

Stephanie has experience assisting health care clients with a wide variety of contracts, from physician and physician extender employment agreements to service agreements and medical staff bylaws and related documents. She has negotiated numerous managed care agreements and counseled clients on a variety of issues related to payor relationships. She has drafted and negotiated numerous purchase and sale transactions for health care clients. She has also worked with physicians and other practitioners involved in matters before the Department of Public Health and with other health care providers involved in a variety of Medicare/Medicaid matters. She has lectured on meaningful use of electronic health records and general medical records issues as well as various other CMS and state law requirements.

Beginning her legal career as an associate in the Firm’s Corporate and Health Care Departments, Stephanie also worked with Jeffers Cowherd P.C. where she practiced health care as well as promotions and marketing law. Her promotions and marketing practice includes client counseling, contract negotiation and preparation of sweepstakes and contest rules, including campaigns run through social media.

Stephanie received her B.S. summa cum laude from the University of Delaware and received her J.D. from Boston College Law School.

Based on the decision in a recent Connecticut Supreme Court case, patients may now sue physicians for breaching confidentiality. Previously, Connecticut did not recognize breach of confidentiality as a cause of action. The unauthorized disclosure at the heart of Byrne v. Avery Center for Obstetrics and Gynecology, P.C. involved a provider’s response to a subpoena. Subpoena compliance has long been an area of confusion for providers. After Byrne, not only must providers pay special attention when responding to subpoenas but now they must also worry about broader breach of confidentiality claims by patients.
Continue Reading Connecticut Recognizes New Cause of Action for Breach of Patient/Physician Confidentiality

Providers Beware: OCR Published Three HIPAA Settlements in Two Weeks, Signaling a Ramp Up of HIPAA Enforcement Activity:

Make sure risk assessments, business associate agreements and policies & procedures are in place and up to date.

In a two week period, the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) published settlements with three different health care providers for violations of HIPAA. The settlements were not insignificant, ranging from $31,000 for a small physician practice, to $400,000 for a federally qualified health center (FQHC), to $2,500,000 for a wireless health services provider. Each of these violations and subsequent settlements should act as a cautionary tale to providers, both large and small, that they must continue to be vigilant in their HIPAA compliance efforts.
Continue Reading OCR Published Three HIPAA Settlements in Two Weeks, Signaling a Ramp Up of HIPAA Enforcement Activity