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Barbara J. Zabawa

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Attorney Barbara J. Zabawa started the Center for Health & Wellness Law, LLC after she recognized a need for legal services that shared a mission with providers to improve patient outcomes and population health, encourage wellness, protect patient interests in choice of provider and treatment options, provide holistic care, and expand information access.  Attorney Zabawa also teaches graduate courses in health law and compliance as Clinical Assistant Professor for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Attorney Zabawa has 20+ years of experience in the health care field, first receiving her Master's in Public Health from the University of Michigan before attending law school at UW Madison, where she graduated with honors in 2001. From 2003-2005, Ms. Zabawa clerked for the Honorable Barbara B. Crabb in the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin and worked on a variety of matters, including employment, patent infringement, civil rights, and contract matters. She also served as a Skadden Fellow representing health care consumers on both the national and local level by helping consumers navigate private insurance coverage issues and advocating for their interests as a Funded Consumer Advocate at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

Attorney Zabawa has worked for a large health insurance company providing advice on the Affordable Care Act as well as HIPAA Privacy and Security compliance. In addition, she was in private practice at a large regional law firm for seven years, where she was a shareholder, led her firm's health care team and served as its HIPAA Privacy Officer. While in private practice, she handled a variety of health law matters, such as compliance with fraud and abuse laws, professional scope of practice matters, state licensing issues, HIPAA privacy and security compliance, Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement and conditions of participation compliance, Accountable Care Organization and other joint venture agreements, employment agreements, as well as business litigation.

Attorney Zabawa is the author of the book "Rule the Rules on Workplace Wellness Programs."  She is a frequent speaker and writer both nationally and regionally on workplace wellness program compliance, the Affordable Care Act, fraud and abuse issues and HIPAA compliance. She has published several law review articles in the practice of health law and has been interviewed by TV, radio and print media regarding wellness, health reform, and HIPAA. She is founder and Board Chair for the Wellness Compliance Institute, a Board Member for Rogers Memorial Hospital Foundation and Chair of NewBridge, a nonprofit that provides community support for the elderly.  Her past appointments include Board President for the Wisconsin Alliance for Women's Health, Board Member for Health Promotion Advocates, the Oversight Advisory Council for the Wisconsin Partnership Program and the State Bar Health Law Section Board.


JD - University of Wisconsin Law School, cum laude
MPH - University of Michigan School of Public Health
BA - Lawrence University

Admitted to Practice:

• New York
• Wisconsin
• Federal District Court of the Western District of Wisconsin
• Federal District Court of the Eastern District of Wisconsin
• Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
• United States Supreme Court

Recent Blog Posts


  • A satisfied chiropractic clinic

    Our experience with Barbara Zabawa truly exceeded our expectations. We found her to be highly professional, quickly responsive, dedicated and knowledgeable. She handles her practice with great integrity.
  • Great Trainer and Advocate

    I am pleased to recommend Attorney Barbara Zabawa. Attorney Zabawa has served in two very important capacities for the National Association of Social Workers, Wisconsin chapter.  First she has taught two workshops on “Social Work and the Law” and co-taught a workshop entitled, “Social Work Eth...
  • Satisfied Client

    Barb makes it her business to know the wellness business. She stays on top of new rules and regulations. She issues a summary of the rules with commentary so the interpretation is easy to understand and apply. She is a real life saver.
  • Patricia Lenius, M.Ed Recommends Barbara J. Zabawa

    I am so impressed with Barbara. She has in depth knowledge of the laws surrounding wellness, the healthcare industry and the ongoing change in the health industry for everyone, particularly for employers and employees. To have a colleague who has the best interest of "you" in mind along with the...

Make Compliance a Selling Point

You work hard to differentiate yourself from the pack. The Center can help. The Center offers compliance evaluations and support to give you and your clients confidence in the services you provide. Backing up your health or wellness services with the Center's expertise in health and wellness compliance can enhance the credibility and effectiveness of your health or wellness service. Contact us today. We would love to be your legal partner!

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