Beth Rubin – PNC Bank
Beth Rubin often asks herself what she, a healthcare lawyer, is doing working at a bank, especially because she doesn’t know any other lawyer doing what she does. The answer is simple: She’s the legal bridge between the healthcare and finance worlds.
“I used to think that the healthcare providers were heavily regulated, but I quickly learned that banks are subject to even more types of regulations,” she says. “This often makes it very complicated to get both sides on the same page during contract negotiations, and that’s where I step in.”
Rubin has decades of experience, having started her legal career working in the health practice group of a law firm after graduating from Columbia University School of Law in 1985 and completing a year as a judicial clerk at the D.C. Court of Appeals. She then worked in-house at the healthcare giant Aetna for five years before she went back to private practice, representing healthcare clients until January 2011. Later that year, she joined PNC Bank, specifically supporting PNC Healthcare.
PNC is headquartered in Pittsburgh and has more than 2,500 branches. The healthcare arm serves more than 51,000 clients across the country, including over 4,000 corporate healthcare organizations and over 47,000 small business healthcare organizations, Rubin says.
When speaking with Vanguard in February, Rubin was working with others in PNC’s legal department to update the bank’s Treasury Management Services Agreement. She regularly updates the business associate addendum to that agreement for use by healthcare customers.
Finding a healthy mid-ground in negotiations
Rubin says while these situations are complicated, she’s able to draw on her years of experience representing healthcare clients and her intimate knowledge of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.
“Finding common ground between parties who face differing regulatory schemes takes a lot of work, thought and careful explanations during negotiations, but that’s why I feel like I’m such a perfect fit for this position and can really apply all my knowledge to ensure both sides walk away satisfied with the end result,” she says.
Rubin’s insights extend beyond contracts and into products. She often functions as an advisor for different PNC departments, checking to see if a new service or product will need to comply with HIPAA and if so, how to do so.
Working closely with the compliance department has also been one of her priorities since she started at PNC, Rubin says. Within the first few years, through collaboration with the compliance team, she helped to develop a compliance program to educate impacted PNC team members about HIPAA rules. She says she’s proud of what she and the compliance team created together, from policies and procedures to training.
“We have a very large compliance team now, compared to when I started over 12 years ago, and we’re constantly collaborating on updating and revising our compliance program,” she says. “It has to be robust because our clients are some of the country’s top health systems and healthcare insurance companies, and they expect that.”
Innovating for a healthy future
Although Rubin is in a niche field, she handles a wide range of legal matters for PNC.
“The culture here at PNC is wonderful because I can pull in colleagues from all areas of our legal department, and everyone is eager to help each other,” she says.
Rubin says that collaboration also leads to innovation, something she believes is essential to constantly improving and providing a better client experience. She also greatly appreciates the inclusive culture fostered in the PNC legal team and throughout the bank.
Outside of work, her navigation is more of the off-road type. In fact, she and her husband have taken an off-roading course and will be putting their new skills to use while driving their four-wheel drive campervan on North Carolina beaches later this spring. She and her husband love to travel in their campervan and visit state and national parks, where they often bike and kayak.
She also enjoys her work as the chairperson of the board of the Senior LAW Center, a non-profit organization that defends and protects the rights of vulnerable senior citizens.
Whether at work or on the road, healthcare has always played a major role in her life.
“I never truly considered working at a bank, but when this position opened up and a friend suggested it to me, I knew it was the perfect fit,” Rubin says. “I’ve never looked back, even though I’m the only healthcare lawyer I know that works at a bank—and I love it.”
View this feature in the Vanguard Spring III 2023 Edition here.
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