Stephen A. Warnke
Stephen is a seasoned, versatile, and highly respected New York health care lawyer with a practice and client base as varied as the New York skyline. He advises complex, nonprofit health systems, government-funded managed care organizations, and community-based human services agencies, as well as some of America's leading health sector businesses. With 30-plus years of experience encompassing both private practice and New York City government, Stephen has the knowledge and track record to navigate not only Albany and the New York State Attorney General's Office, but also other state and federal enforcement agencies.
Stephen’s advice to health care clients combines deep policy experience with a nuanced grasp of the technical regulatory landscape. Clients call him “brilliant,” “thorough,” and “a phenomenal human being,” as reported to Chambers USA, where he has been consistently recognized as a “Star Individual” in health care.
Among many areas, Stephen advises clients on Medicare, Medicaid and other government funding programs; state and federal fraud and abuse authorities; internal investigations and corporate compliance obligations; hospital-physician arrangements; and health plan regulatory and transactional matters. Over the past 15 years, he has defended a number of high-profile civil false claims investigations brought in the Southern, Eastern and Northern Districts of New York, alleging such matters as improper billing, “Stark” and Anti-Kickback violations, and noncompliance with managed care enrollment, risk adjustment and marketing requirements. A former policy advisor in New York City government, Stephen also counsels clients on New York’s unique regulatory, reimbursement and enforcement landscape, relying on his extensive experience before the New York State Department of Health and other New York regulators.
Stephen is committed to giving back to the community through pro bono service, charitable engagement and mentorship. He guided many clients on the front lines of New York’s COVID response, for which New York Law Journal named him one of three finalists for “Attorney of the Year” in 2020 and Ropes & Gray honored him with its Outstanding Pro Bono Partner Service Award in 2021. For a decade, he served as the founding chair of FAIR Health, a national nonprofit created to bring greater transparency to health care costs and health insurance information. A recognized leader in his field, Stephen is the principal author of “Health Care Fraud and Abuse” in White Collar Crime: Business and Regulatory Offenses (Law Journal Press, 2008), a treatise for practitioners co-edited by Otto Obermaier and Robert Morvillo. Stephen also mentors many junior lawyers and believes strongly in giving opportunity and support to the next generation.
- Profiled, “Attorney of the Year Finalist: Stephen Warnke,” New York Law Journal (October 26, 2020)
- Co-author, “Opinion: Even with ‘Medicare for all,’ we’ll still need Medicaid,” Los Angeles Times (September 12, 2019)
- Presenter, “The Civil Frauds Enforcement Landscape: Recent Developments and Trends,” New York City Bar Association (March 2012)
- Presenter, “Litigating New York False Claims Act Cases,” New York State Bar Association (December 2012)
- JD, Yale Law School, 1985; Editor, Yale Law Journal; Coker Fellow (Constitutional Law)
- BA, magna cum laude, Harvard University, 1981
Admissions / Qualifications
- New York, 1988
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, 1988
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, 1988
- National Law Journal Crisis Leadership Awards (2020)
- Finalist, The New York Law Journal Attorney of the Year (2020)
- Chambers USA Star Individual (2018-2021)
- Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business (2004-2022)
- The Best Lawyers in America, New York City Health Care Law “Lawyer of the Year” (2016, 2020)
- Legal 500 (2013-2016, 2018, 2020)
- The Best Lawyers in America (2008-2014, 2016-2023)
- New York Super Lawyers (2006-2021)
- Nightingale's Healthcare News "Outstanding Fraud & Compliance Lawyers - 2005" (May/June 2005)