A partner with the firm, Susannah Vance Gopalan focuses on health care litigation and regulatory counseling, with a distinct focus on Medicaid and Medicare payment, financing, and compliance issues.

Ms. Gopalan brings regulatory expertise to bear when advising clients and pursuing litigation on their behalf. She has experience negotiating Medicaid waivers and managed care arrangements on behalf of providers, provider associations, and governmental entities. She represented a group of providers in reaching a settlement in major Medicaid litigation.

Ms. Gopalan began her legal career as a clerk for the Hon. John M. Rogers of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. She then practiced with a large Washington, DC law firm primarily in the areas of health care and federal-state programs. During this time, Ms. Gopalan also provided pro bono legal services to asylum-seekers. This work subsequently led her to work at a national refugee resettlement agency managing a grant program providing legal representation to victims of torture in immigration detention.

Ms. Gopalan understands her clients’ reliance on federal funds demands far more than a narrow legal understanding of specific programs; effective counsel requires a comprehensive understanding of the policy framework on which Medicaid and federal grant programs are founded. She is driven to apply her experience with these programs to resolve the complex issues faced by her clients.

Representative Matters

  • Advised a national association of health care providers concerning Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Medicaid, Medicare, and Exchange regulations.
  • Represented a group of ten health care providers in negotiating their role as patient-centered medical homes under a Medicaid waiver program.
  • Obtained favorable settlement on behalf of a group of eight health care providers in federal and state court litigation concerning Medicaid reimbursement.
  • Advised major urban governments on Medicaid financing issues, including localities’ role in Medicaid administrative claiming and financing of the nonfederal share.
  • Advised consortium of public health organizations on lobbying restrictions under federal grants administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


  • Selected to the Washington, DC, Super Lawyers “Rising Stars” list – Health Care Law (2014)

Published Works

  • Susannah Vance Gopalan, Co-Author, Legal Limits and Policy Merits of Routine Periodic Rebasing in Medicare PPS Methodologies, J. Health and Life Sci. L. (March 2021)
  • Susannah Vance Gopalan, Harvey Tettlebaum, & Camille Lockhart, Strings Attached: Compliance for Long Term Care Facilities In Using Funds From the COVID-19 Provider Relief Fund, AHLA’s Speaking of Health Law Podcast (June 2020)
  • Susannah Vance Gopalan, Dianne Pledgie & William E. “Bill” Hopkins, Compliance and Ethics Programs in Nursing Facilities: Overcoming Policy Uncertainty and Logistical Challenges to Build an Effective Program, AHLA Connections (March 2020)
  • Susannah Vance Gopalan, Co-Author, A Change in Federal Policy Allows Access to Preventive and Primary Health Care Services, Network for Public Health Law Blog (June 2015)
  • Susannah Vance Gopalan, Premium Assistance Programs in Medicaid: All Eyes on Upcoming CMS Waiver Decisions, Bloomberg BNA Health Care Policy Report (November 2013)
  • Susannah Vance Gopalan, Co-Author, Medicaid Expansion is on the Way: Recent Regulatory and Policy Activities Impacting Your Health Center, Community Health Forum (Spring/Summer 2013)
  • Susannah Vance Gopalan, Co-Author, HHS Seeks to Delegate Key “Essential Benefits” Coverage Decision to States, Bloomberg Law Reports, Health Law Report (February 2012)
  • Susannah C. Vance, An Enduring Fear: Recent Limitations on the Past Persecution Ground for Asylum, 91 Ky. L. J. 957 (2003)

Previous Experience

  • Congressional Research Service, Analyst in Health Care Financing (2016-2018)
  • Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, Attorney for Access to Justice (2008-2010)
  • Covington & Burling LLP, Associate (2005-2008)
Susannah Vance Gopalan


  • J.D., University of Kentucky College of Law, magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, Kentucky Law Journal (2004)
  • M.I.A., Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, FLAS Fellowship (2000)
  • B.A., Columbia University, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, The Bunner Award (1996)

Bar/Court Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Kentucky
  • North Carolina
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Professional Memberships / Affiliations

  • American Health Law Association
  • American Health Law Association, Post Acute and Long Term Services Practice Group, Leadership Development Program (2019-2020)
  • D.C. Bar

Speaking Engagements

Press Mentions:

COVID-19 Recent Changes to Telehealth Regulations and Reimbursement, April 29, 2020, by Thomas Sullivan

However, we also wanted to point out Attorney Susannah Vance Gopalan’s article on new CMS rules.

Untraditional Community Partnerships Will Become Part of CCBHC Process, March 14, 2016, By Valerie A. Canady

Many of the behavioral health organizations selected to become CCBHCs in October may not provide all nine of the services that will be required of them, said Susannah Vance Gopalan, a partner with Washington, D.C.-based Feldesman Tucker Leifer Fidell LLP, and presenter of the session, “Becoming Best Friends: CCBHCs and Designated Collaborating Organization.”


  • Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics: How Your State or Local Government Agency Can Support This Groundbreaking Reform, Co-presenter, American Association of Health and Human Services Attorneys 2022 Annual Education Conference, October 2022
  • Let’s Talk About Good Faith Estimates, California Primary Care Association’s 2022 Financial Conference, May 2022
  • The Regulatory Landscape: An Overview of NACHC’s Regulatory Priorities and Emerging Issues, Co-presenter, National Association of Community Health Centers’ Policies and Issues Forum, February 2022
  • Serving Medicare Patients During the COVID-19 Pandemic: From Vaccines to Telehealth, Co-presenter, Louisiana Primary Care Association’s 37th annual Conference, March 2021
  • Health Centers & Telehealth: Surmounting Regulatory and Operational Challenges, Co-presenter, National Association of Community Health Centers Financial, Operations, Management/IT Conference, October 2019
  • Cost Reporting for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics, Co-presenter, National Council for Behavioral Health, NatCon Conference, March 2016
  • Becoming Best Friends: CCBHCs and Designated Collaborating Organizations, National Council for Behavioral Health, NatCon Conference, March 2016
  • Medicaid Managed Care and Public Health, Co-presenter with Sarah Somers of NHeLP, Public Health Law Conference, September 2016
  • CMS Update, National Association of Community Health Centers Community Health Institute, August 2014


  • “Strings Attached: Compliance for Long Term Care Facilities in Using Funds from the COVID-19 Provider Relief Fund, Moderator, American Health Law Association Podcast, Speaking of Health Law, June 2020