A longtime corporate counsel for one of the nation’s largest health systems is moving into a new role at a local law firm.
Thomas has more than 25 years of experience in health care law and spent 14 years as a registered nurse. In her role at Catholic Health Initiatives she provided counsel to more than 100 hospitals, four academic health centers, 30 critical-access facilities and other inpatient and out-patient facilities across 19 states.
Thomas said she was ready to take on new challenges in her career after many years of similar work.
“I was really at a point where I had achieved what I wanted to do within a health care company and ready to move on to something else,” Thomas told me. “I just thought it’s a good opportunity to expand my services to people who may be able to benefit from it.”
In her new role, Thomas will focus on privacy issues within the health care industry such as electronic health record implementation, data security, breach investigation and reporting, regulatory investigations and more. In addition, she routinely advises clients on risk management issues related to Medicare compliance, staffing, contract review, clinical research and employment-related proceedings.
Thomas told me she expects to deal with many similar issues to what she handled at Catholic Health Initiatives while meeting the needs of health care professionals working in hospitals and other facilities as a result of her own experience working with patients.
“I feel like I have a better understanding of where they’re at and what they need to do while still complying with the regulations (because of my nursing experience),” she said.
BakerHostetler’s privacy and data protection team includes more than 40 attorneys who counsel clients nationally and internationally, and its health care industry team includes more than 80 attorneys across the nation.
“Health care organizations are experiencing an unprecedented number of privacy incidents, and they need attorneys who have the industry experience and insight to match the challenges they face,” Ted Kobus, BakerHostetler privacy and data protection team leader, said. “Paulette’s firsthand experience in privacy and health care operations strengthens the collaborative approach our team takes to protect clients. Like many other members of our teams, she knows how health care organizations run, and she has the practical experience to put herself in our clients’ shoes.”