Karen Smith Thiel advises clients on matters involving public policy and health care. She applies her knowledge of federal, state, and local health care systems to help clients understand the effects of emerging health policies.
Dr. Thiel works with professional associations, medical institutions, health care providers, and patient advocacy groups to develop their legislative agendas and strategies related to proposed regulations. She focuses on Medicare, Medicaid, and State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) issues. She also has assisted pharmacy and patient advocacy groups with statutory and regulatory interpretations of provisions of the Medicare Prescription Drug Program, and has helped clients navigate the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ National Coverage Analysis process.
In addition, Dr. Thiel understands the research process, its funding mechanisms, and the way in which agency regulations and guidance influence the conduct of federally funded health research. She follows closely the developments in health information technology, informed consent for participation in biomedical research, and patient privacy issues.
Before joining Patton Boggs, Dr. Thiel had a distinguished career as a policy consultant, researcher, and federal policy analyst. She was a senior consultant on the Joint Committee on Science and Technology in the California State Legislature, where she worked on health research and health care issues involving major public and private universities and patient advocacy groups. An experienced public policy researcher, she held joint appointments with the University of Southern California’s Schools of Public Administration and Social Work. She has designed complex evaluations of federally funded, community-based public health programs, including the National Evaluation of SCHIP. She also served as chief evaluator in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Population Affairs.
As a Senior Fellow with the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Dr. Thiel served as liaison to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Turning Point Initiative’s Committee on the Modernization of the Public Health Law, worked with the Surgeon General’s Task Force on Drug Importation, and provided consultation on measuring the impact of initiatives designed to reduce health disparities. She has published in the areas of health care for vulnerable populations, participation in biomedical research, and data systems to measure the provision of health care services and health care quality.