Karen Owens

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Karen represents health care systems, hospitals, clinics, and other providers in matters of quality management, medical staff credentialing and peer review, medical staff structures, bylaws and confidentiality, as well as National Practitioner Data Bank, state professional board, and other government reporting. She also regularly assists health care providers with state licensure and Medicare certification survey compliance, joint commission accreditation, EMTALA and HIPAA compliance, and many other regulatory matters touching clinical operations. Karen advises health care clients in antitrust, contracting, and other disputes related to hospital/medical staff relationships. She has substantial experience handling contested matters before administrative bodies including hospital, surgery center and managed care peer review panels, Medicare QIOs, The Joint Commission, and many state professional boards and in avoiding or resolving such matters. Karen also works actively on patient-related legal issues such as refusal of treatment, restraints and advance directives, and she spends each spring immersed in state legislative issues affecting providers. In all these areas, Karen has worked with a wide range of providers including urban, academic, community, and rural hospitals, physician practices, outpatient clinics, and surgery centers.

Representative Matters

  • Counseling hospitals and medical staff leaders on peer review procedures and options.
  • Drafting and revising/updating medical staff bylaws, rules and regulations, and policies and procedures.
  • Representing institutional providers in contested practitioner peer review matters, including hearings, appeals, litigation, settlement, and state and federal reporting. Karen has represented medical staff leadership in in more than thirty peer review hearings.
  • Assisting hospitals and defense counsel on negligent credentialing/peer review issues in medical malpractice lawsuits.
  • Representing the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association on regulatory and legislative developments.
  • Helping healthcare entities obtain state licenses, respond to surveys and deficiency statements from state and federal agencies and The Joint Commission; develop plans of correction and dispute resolution statements; and navigate enforcement proceedings.

Awards & Recognitions

  • Chambers USA: Health Care (2015, 2017)
  • Best Lawyers®: 2012 Health Care Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Phoenix
  • The Best Lawyers in America©: Health Care Law (2000 – present); Antitrust Law (2004 – present)
  • Southwest Super Lawyers: Health Care (2010 – present)
  • Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent® rated
  • Arizona’s Top Rated Lawyers

Publications & Speeches

  • Presenter, “ACA’s Anti-Discrimination Provisions: What You Need to Know,” AZHIMA annual meeting (Oct. 20, 2017)
  • Presenter, “Exploring Transgender Documentation,” AZHIMA annual meeting (Oct. 20, 2017)
  • Co-presenter, “ACA Section 1557’s Anti-Discrimination Provisions: Alive and Placing Obligations on Providers, Insurers, and Health Care Employers,” Arizona Society of Healthcare Lawyers (Aug. 23, 2017)
  • Co-author, CONSENT AND HEALTH INFORMATION RESOURCE MANUAL, Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association, 2009 and 2014 eds.
  • Co-editor, HIPAA TOOLKIT, Coppersmith Schermer & Brockelman PLC, 2013 ed.
  • Co-presenter, “New ACA Rules on Nondiscrimination,” Hospital system in-house counsel program (Nov. 2016)
  • Presenter, “Sharing Peer Review Information Among Entities,” National Association of Medical Staff Services Webinar (Mar. 2016)
  • Presenter, “Peer Review in the Courtroom: How a Jury and Judge View the Work of the Medical Staff and Your Medical Staff Services Office,” National Association of Medical Staff Services Annual Meeting (Oct. 2015)
  • Presenter, “Medical Staff Law: Two Important Developments,” Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association webinar (Jul. 2015)
  • Presenter, “Topics for Graduating Nurse Practitioners,” University of Phoenix School of Nursing (Feb. 2015)
  • Presenter, “Credentialing and Ongoing Peer Review: Roles and Responsibilities,” Hospital Board/Medical Staff Joint Workshop (Dec. 2014)
  • Co-presenter, “2013 Arizona Department of Health Services Hospital Rules: Compliance Highlights,” Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association (with Arizona Department of Health Services Bureau Chief for Medical Licensing) (Sept. 2013)
  • Presenter, “Hospital-Employed Physicians: How Medical Staffs are Coping with the New Reality,” American Health Lawyers Association Annual Meeting (Jul. 2013)

Activities & Memberships

  • Member, American Health Lawyers Association and American Bar Association Health Law Section (1984 – present)
  • Co-founder, Arizona Association of Healthcare Lawyers Board of Directors (1992 – 1996)
  • Member, Board of Directors, Arizona Association of Healthcare Lawyers (2013 – present)
  • Member, John P. Frank Memorial Lecture Advisory Committee, Arizona State University (2009 – present)
  • Member, Board of Trustees, Temple Solel, Paradise Valley, Arizona (2006 – 2014)
  • Personnel Committee Chair, Temple Solel, Paradise Valley, Arizona (2013 – 2014)


  • Hon. Mary Schroeder, Chief Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 1983 – 1984

Education & Admissions

  • J.D., Vanderbilt Law School, 1983; Order of the Coif; Articles Editor, Vanderbilt Law Review, 1982 – 1983
  • A.B., Brown University, 1978
  • Admitted in Arizona and Washington D.C., 1984