Jane Perkins is the National Health Law Program Legal Director. As such, she leads the organization’s efforts to ensure that health care protections are implemented nationally and at the state level as the law requires. Jane also manages the National Health Law Program’s litigation docket. She has served as counsel in more than 30 high profile lawsuits across the country to protect and advance the health rights of low income and underserved individuals. Jane is admitted to the state bars of California, Maryland (inactive), and North Carolina; 11 of the 12 federal circuits; and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Her cases include:
Newton Nations v. Betlach, where we have represented low-income adults in Arizona and obtained a court ruling that the federal government’s approval of Medicaid copayments violated the Social Security Act.
Lankford v. Sherman, where, as lead counsel, she obtained an appellate court decision requiring the Missouri Medicaid program to cover medical equipment and supplies.
Antrican v. Buell, where, as lead counsel, she and the litigation team obtained a series of favorable access to court procedural decisions from the district and appellate courts, before the case was ultimately settled, resulting in increased payments to Medicaid participating dentists in North Carolina.
Benjamin H v. Ohl, where she obtained a court ruling that required the West Virginia Medicaid agency to provide timely services to individuals with developmental disabilities who had been placed on a waiting list for home and community based care services.
Thompson v. Raiford, where we represented a nationwide class of children in case that resulted in a Medicaid guidelines for coverage of lead blood tests for children.
In addition to consulting on additional cases in which NHeLP is not designated counsel, Jane has provided technical and consulting support to health advocates in all 50 states and national and state-based training around the country, including on-site training in 34 states and the District of Columbia.
Jane has written numerous manuals, fact sheets and trade and scholarly articles on Medicaid, child health, civil rights, and federal court access. She is the co-author and editor of both the first and second editions of the National Health Law Program’s signature publication The Advocate’s Guide to the Medicaid Program. Jane also co-authors a yearly article for the Journal of Poverty Law and Policy on how the Supreme Court’s Term has affected low-income people’s access to the courts.
Before joining the National Health Law Program, Jane served as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Maryland and litigated on behalf of not-for-profit hospitals at a California law firm. She has taught health law and policy at the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill School of Law and served as a Clinical Associate professor in health policy at the UNC School of Social Work.
Jane received the 2013 Maine Equal Justice Hero award, 2008 North Carolina Defender of Justice award and was a 1997 recipient of the Reginald Heber Smith Award from the National Legal Aid and Defender Association (NLADA) for dedicated service and outstanding achievement as an indigent defense attorney. In 2016, NLADA awarded Jane its Kutak-Dodds prize for her significant work in protecting and advancing health rights of those in need. Jane earned her M.P.H. from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1982; her J.D. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in 1981; and her B.A. from Davidson College in 1978.