René H. Reixach, Jr.


At A Glance

René H. Reixach, Jr. is a Partner in the firm's Elder Law and Health Care Practice Group and responsible for handling all elder law and health care issues.

Prior to joining Woods Oviatt, Mr. Reixach was the Executive Director of the Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency, a health planning agency covering a nine county region of western New York. In this capacity, he oversaw the local input to the State Department of Health process for planning and review of the development of the health facility services in this area.


Recent Lectures

  • May 2014: Advanced Elder Law Review, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys in Scottsdale, AZ
  • Feb 2014: The Advanced Elder Law Course, Elder Counsel in Phoenix, AZ
  • Jan 2014: 16th Annual Elder Law Workshop, Wisconsin Chapter of National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys in Madison, WI
  • Nov. 2013 National Advanced Elder Law Review, Aging & Law Institute in Washington, DC. He previously presented this topic in Novemeber of 2012.
  • Oct. 2013: NYS Surrogate Court Clerk's Association annual conference in Syracuse, New York


Harvard Law School, J.D.

Yale College, B.A.

Bar Admissions

State of New York

All federal district courts in New York United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Supreme Court of the United States

Key Representative Matters

Elder Law Representation:

  • Successfully argued the appeal as counsel in Zahner v. Secretary Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, decided by the federal Third Circuit Court of Appeals on September 2, 2015, holding that annuities purchased by Medicaid applicants which had terms of less than two years could not be counted as resources to disqualify the applicants from Medicaid and that a Pennsylvania statute making all annuities purchased by Medicaid applicants assignable was in conflict with federal law.
  • Filed amicus curiae brief on behalf of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and the Ohio State Bar Association which the court cited in agreement in Hughes v. McCarthy, 734 F.3d 473 (6th Cir. 2013), concerning the right of a spouse to make unlimited pre-eligibility transfers to the other spouse without affecting Medicaid eligibility.
  • Successfully represented and was lead counsel for the plaintiffs in Lopes v. Dept. of Social Services, 696 F. 3d 180 (2d Cir. 2012) and Geston v. Anderson, 729 F. 3d 1077 (8th Cir. 2013), ruling that the policy of the Connecticut and North Dakota Medicaid agencies to treat the income stream from an annuity owned by the spouse of a Medicaid applicant as an available resource that would disqualify the institutionalized spouse was illegal because it violates the federal Medicaid statute.
  • Successfully represented Medicaid applicants in federal court litigation in New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, including an appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit: Morenz v. Wilson-Coker, 415 F.3d 230 (2d Cir. 2005) Robbins v. DeBuono, 218 F.3d 197 (2d Cir. 2000), VerDow v. Sutkowy, 209 F.R.D. 309 (N.D.N.Y. 2002) Mertz v. Houstoun, 155 F. Supp. 2d 415 (E.D.Pa. 2001)
  • Established rules favorable to Medicaid applicants throughout New York State through administrative hearings affirmed on review by the Supervising Administrative Law Judge, e.g., Appeal of Arnold S., establishing that retirement accounts, including IRAs, owned by a Medicaid applicant in a nursing home, are exempt resources so long as they are in periodic payment status.
  • Represented amicus curiae in successful litigation establishing that guardianships for Medicaid planning are appropriate under New York law. Matter of Shah, 95 N.Y.2d 148, 733 N.E.2d 1093, 711 N.Y.S.2d 824 (2000).

Health Law Representation:

  • Successfully represented large primary care medical group in contract dispute with HMO over change in contract terms by HMO during contract term. Buffalo Family Practice Medical Associates, P.C.v. Individual Practice Association, 256 A.D.2d 1230, 683 N.Y.S.2d 457 (4th Dept. 1998).
  • Successfully defended large medical group against federal government claims of millions of dollars of over billing to Medicare and potential False Claims Act liability, resulting in favorable settlement for a small fraction of alleged overpayments.
  • Represented multi-disciplinary group in establishment of health care management organization to negotiate with local insurers and HMOs.

Professional Affiliations

Member of the Monroe County, New York State and American Bar Associations


  • Named  2017 "Lawyer of the Year" by The Best Lawyers in America in Health Care Law.
  • Listed in the current edition of The Best Lawyers in America.
  • Was named the Best Lawyer's Lawyer of the Year - Health Care" for 2011 by the Best Lawyers In America publication.
  • Listed in the current edition of "Super Lawyers" magazine for his work in the area of Elder Law.
  • Authors a monthly health column in the Rochester Business Journal and has written for other professional, trade and business publications.
  • Has lectured frequently on health care topics, including Medicaid litigation, Medicaid eligibility and health planning for the New York State Bar Association, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, National Business Institute, the University of Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology, and Cornell Law School.
  • Appeared as an expert witness on Medicaid eligibility for the New York State Supreme Court.

Community Involvement

  • Serve as a board member of the Wesley Group, a Rochester long term care community.
  • Past president of the Foundation of the Monroe County Bar.

rene reixach