Claire Ernst

Director, Government Relations & Public Policy

“The laws and regulations governing health care can seem like abstractions when you’re immersed in their details. Only by connecting policy to reality and appreciating its practical implications can you effectively persuade and make an impact.”

A seasoned, respected, and well-liked presence among Washington decision-makers, Claire Ernst serves as a valuable conduit between policymakers and the health care providers, businesses, and organizations she represents. Her appreciation of the real-world implications of laws, regulations, and policies complements her understanding of who to connect with and how to move the needle, making her a powerfully effective advocate for her clients and the greater health care industry.

Claire focuses her practice on protecting and advancing the interests of providers and trade associations before legislators, regulators, staff, and others who craft and influence health care policies and priorities, primarily on issues relating to provider payment, including administrative burden, digital health, and Medicare Advantage. She brings to her role extensive and varied experience as well as immersive subject matter expertise that establishes credibility and facilitates her ability to enlighten, educate, and persuade.

With her attention to detail and innate intellectual curiosity, Claire thrives in the regulatory trenches. The strategic approaches she develops, whether in one-on-one interactions, when drafting comment letters, spearheading grassroots campaigns, or leading public relations initiatives, consider both immediate imperatives as well as the longer-term and broader impacts of those strategies on the legal landscape governing health care.

Claire’s extensive background working in-house for health care industry trade and advocacy associations helps her forge connections with leadership and membership alike, allowing her to step into their shoes and better convey their perspectives and concerns to policymakers. Before joining HLB, Claire served as Director of Government Affairs for the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), overseeing advocacy strategy and representing the organization’s interests in front of Congress and Executive Branch agencies. She monitored federal legislative and regulatory issues pertinent to medical groups (telehealth, physician payment rules, prior authorization, etc.), presented to the membership and other stakeholders on a variety of relevant topics, wrote comment letters, managed grassroots campaigns, acted as a spokesperson, and emphasized the critical role group medical practices play in the health care system.

In 2023, Claire’s talents and achievements earned her recognition by Modern Healthcare, which included her in its list of the Top 25 Emerging Leaders (previously Up & Comers) for her significant contributions in the area of health care policy.


Suffolk University Law School, J.D., 2016
Franklin & Marshall College, B.A., 2012
  • Modern Healthcare
  • Top 25 Emerging Leaders, 2023

  • Women in Government Relations
  • Health & Social Policies Task Force, Co-Chair