Attorney John Puente draws on almost 30 years of legal and policy experience in the public and private sectors when assisting health care clients with their diverse legal, business, and regulatory needs.

He provides legal counsel to managed care plans, medical groups, pharmacy benefit managers, trade associations, and other health care clients on issues relating to administrative law, public policy, HIPAA, regulatory compliance, licensing, Medicare, Medicaid, and the health insurance marketplace.

John’s professional background includes serving in multiple senior health care executive and legal roles in both public and private entities. This background gives John the deep insight and experience needed to help clients successfully navigate regulatory and business challenges.

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In the public sector, John was General Counsel for the Medical Board of California, advising on physician licensure and disciplinary matters and serving as Chair of the Corporate Practice of Medicine Working Group. Later, he became Chief of Licensing and Deputy Director for Plan and Provider Relations at the California Department of Managed Health Care, where he supervised the licensure of full-service and specialized health plans and led the review and approval of a major health plan merger. Most recently, John was Deputy Director and Chief Counsel to the California Department of Health Care Services, providing strategic legal counsel and advice to the agency and overseeing the Office of Legal Services and Office of Regulations.

In the private sector, John served as Deputy General Counsel and Vice President of Regulatory Affairs for a publicly traded Fortune 500 health care company focused on Medicaid, Medicare, and the health insurance marketplace. In that position, he provided guidance on all legal and regulatory issues, such as contracts, credentialing, licensing, HIPAA compliance, medical surveys, acquisitions and regulatory deals. John also served as Vice President and Director of California Operations for a national health care and technology startup backed by venture capital. Throughout John’s tenure, the health plan saw a fourfold increase in enrollment, broadened its service territory, and entered the small group market in California. In addition, John was Vice President of Legal and Regulatory Affairs for the statewide trade association representing health plans in California. In this position, he played a key role in steering industry feedback throughout the creation of regulations for timely access to care and was pivotal in forging connections between the health care industry and the California Department of Health Care Services, especially as public program enrollment substantially expanded.

Outside the office, John has participated in community service in Sacramento, California, for many years. He is a Board Member and Treasurer of the Land Park Community Association, former Chair of the Sacramento Utility Rates Advisory Commission, and former Chair of the Sacramento County Mental Health Board.

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Focus Areas



  • Gonzaga University School of Law (J.D., cum laude, 1996)
  • St. Mary's College of California (B.A., 1993)

Bar Admissions

Professional & Community Involvement

  • American Health Law Association
  • California Society for Healthcare Attorneys
  • Land Park Neighborhood Association
  • Sacramento County Bar Association


Upcoming Events

Past Events

  • California Association of Health Plans 2023 Annual Conference: Mental Health Parity in California – Updates and What to Expect in the Future


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