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Sonya Penley represents clients in the health care sector with respect to corporate, regulatory, administrative and governmental issues. Her diverse clients include long-term care providers, physician group practices, assisted living facilities, hospitals, hospices, home health agencies, DME suppliers, clinical laboratories, pharmaceutical manufacturers and wholesalers and ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs). She has particular experience with health facility acquisitions, mergers and other changes in ownership, including related licensure and Medicare/Medicaid certification matters, long-term care/skilled nursing facility management and operating agreements, health care joint ventures and certificate of need issues. She also represents private equity firms and REITs in health care facility acquisitions and sales.


  • Health law
  • Administrative
  • Governmental



  • Represented large multi-state long-term care providers in acquisition change of ownership (CHOW), including Medicare and Medicaid enrollment, CMS 855A registration, licensure and certification survey issues, CMS regional office approvals and Medicare tie-in notices, Medicare intermediary matters, State Medicaid enrollment and certification, licensure issues, due diligence and risk assessment.
  • Represented numerous hospitals in start-up and change of ownership (CHOW), including certificate of need (CON) requirements, CON applications, and CON appeals, approvals, timing for accreditation through JCAHO, assistance with AHCA construction plan review and permit process and initial certification surveys.
  • Participated in home health, health care clinic, group practice, and pharmacy buy-outs and restructuring transactions, including compliance with state and federal anti-kickback laws and requirements, disclosure requirements and related regulatory impact of reorganization.
  • Represented long-term care and nursing home clients with respect to operational and compliance issues, including assistance with development of compliance programs and materials consistent with applicable CMS requirements, OIG guidance and anti-kickback/fraud regulations.
  • Negotiated and drafted health care contracts and operational agreements, including management agreements and operations transfer agreements.
  • Handled IDTF enrollment and requirements, initial certification of IDTFs and CMS 855B applications for IDTF billing.
  • Handled licensure and certification issues related to nursing home facilities in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, coordination of nursing home facility closures and transition to closing, disposition of nursing home beds from nursing homes/SNFs subject to closure action, including de-licensure and de-certification from participation in Medicare and Medicaid and related Medicaid overpayment issues.
  • Handled Medicare provider-based determinations and issues and related licensure and compliance issues under State and federal law for hospital outpatient departments and services, including rehabilitation agencies, oncology departments, surgical services and outpatient freestanding surgical centers.
  • Legislative Assistant, Florida State Senator Kenneth C. Jenne
  • Intern, Florida House of Representatives, Health Care Committee
  • Law Clerk, Agency for Health Care Administration

Recognition & Leadership

  • Listed, The Best Lawyers in America, Health Care Law; Administrative / Regulatory Law, 2016-2024
    • Named, "Lawyer of the Year," Health Care Law, Tallahassee, 2020
  • Listed, Florida Trend magazine "Legal Elite," 2007 and 2016
  • Team Member, a U.S. News - Best Lawyers® "Government Relations Law Firm of the Year," 2014
    • Ranked, Tier 1 – Government Relations, Tallahassee Metropolitan Area
  • Board Member, Seminole Torchbearers, 2007-Present
    • Chair, Seminole Torchbearers, 2009-2011
  • Volunteer, The Shelter, Tallahassee, 2004-Present
  • Volunteer, Breast Cancer 3-Day, Komen for the Cure, Atlanta, 2007
  • Board Member, Leon High School Foundation, 2016-Present
  • Mentor, Tallahassee Women Lawyers 
  • Member, American Bar Association, Health Law Section
  • Member, American Health Lawyers Association (AHLA) 
  • Member, The Florida Bar, Health Law Section
  • Member, Florida Health Care Association
  • Member, Tallahassee Women Lawyers Association


  • J.D., Florida State University College of Law, 1994
  • B.A., Government and Political Science, Loyola University New Orleans, 1990
  • Florida