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 compliance, patient consent, end-of-life, and many other regulatory matters touching clinical operations. Karen advises health care clients in antitrust, contracting, negligent credentialing, 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, when possible, resolving such matters short of hearing. Karen also regularly works with the firm’s litigators on litigation involving negligent credentialing, patient consent, end-of-life, and other issues within her expertise. Karen spends each spring immersed in state legislative issues affecting providers. In all these areas, Karen works with a wide range of providers including urban, academic, community, and rural hospitals, clinician 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 several dozen peer review hearings.
  • Assisting health care institutions in compliance with federal and state health care-related civil rights provisions.
  • Representing the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association on regulatory and legislative developments.
  • Helping health care entities obtain state licenses and respond to surveys and deficiency statements from state and federal agencies and The Joint Commission; to develop plans of correction and dispute resolution statements; and to navigate enforcement proceedings.
  • Litigation health, end-of-life and minor consent matters with the firm’s litigators.
  • Consulting with malpractice defense attorneys in negligent credentialing cases.

Awards & Recognitions

  • Chambers USA: Health Care, Band 1 (2015 – present)
  • 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, “EMTALA for Medical and Hospital Professionals,” to Hospital Emergency Services Physicians and Staff (Aug. 2020)
  • Co-author and editor, CONSENT AND HEALTH INFORMATION RESOURCE MANUAL, Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association (2009, 2014, and upcoming 2020 eds.)
  • Co-editor, HIPAA TOOLKIT, Coppersmith Schermer & Brockelman PLC (2013 ed.)
  • Presenter, “Medical Staff Governance: Credentialing, Peer Review, Corrective Action and Bylaws, an Overview for the Board,” Hospital Board retreat (Nov. 2019)
  • Presenter, “Government Reporting of Medical Staff Actions: Key Points for Medical Staff Leaders,” Medical Staff leadership retreat (Feb. 2019)
  • Presenter, “Peer Review – Investigation — Corrective Action – Reporting: An Overview,” Hospital Executive Committee and Governing Board meetings (Sep. and Dec. 2018)
  • Presenter, “Medical Staff Matters and Arizona Law and Regulations,” Hospital System Leadership Retreat (Oct. 2018)
  • Co-presenter, “Legal Issues in Transgender Healthcare,” American Health Lawyers Association Annual Meeting (June 2018)
  • Presenter, “What You Need to Know about the Suspension of Medical Staff Privileges,” Arizona Association of Medical Staff Services (Apr. 2018)
  • Presenter, “Medical Staff Tools for Addressing Disruptive Physician Conduct,” Hospital Medical Executive Committee meeting (Feb. 2018)
  • Presenter, “Peer Review, Negligent Credentialing, and Effective Committee Minutes,” Hospital System Medical Staff Services Professionals Learning Day (Nov. 2017)
  • Presenter, “Credentialing and Ongoing Peer Review: Roles and Responsibilities,” Hospital and Medical Staff meeting (Oct. 2017)
  • Presenter, “ACA Section 1557’s Anti-Discrimination Provisions: Alive & Placing Obligations on Providers, Insurers, and Health Care Employers,” Arizona Society of Healthcare Lawyers (Aug. 2017)

Activities & Memberships

  • Member, American Health Lawyers Association and American Bar Association Health Law Section (1984 – present)
  • Member, Board of Directors, Arizona Society of Healthcare Attorneys (2013 – present, 1992 – 96)
  • Co-founder, Arizona Association of Healthcare Lawyers (now Arizona Society of Healthcare Attorneys)
  • Member, Governance Board, Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Phoenix (2018 – 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)


  • 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

Best Lawyers Award Badge

Best Lawyers Award Badge

Karen C. Owens
Rated by Super Lawyers

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