Corner Office: Meet Janet Craig, chair of Health Care and Insurance Regulatory Service Groups at Stites & Harbison


Corner Office_Craig-Fast Facts

Family: Husband – Jim; Son – Matthew; Daughter – Megan; Grandkids – James and Lily; Dog – Boone

Education: Received JD from UK School of Law; Received BA in English and Journalism from EKU.

What piqued your interest in healthcare?

I came to it naturally. I was in the Kentucky Department of Insurance as General Counsel.  When I left the Department of Insurance with the change of administration, I took a position with the Lexington Clinic, a large specialty healthcare clinic. They asked me to help them set up their HMO.  It was supposed to be a six-week consulting project but I ended up working on it full time for a year. Really, I was in insurance at the right time as they were going from not-for-profit HMOs to managed care. There weren’t many healthcare leaders either at that time, so I had the opportunity to step in at the right time and my career really took off.

If you could wave your magic wand and fix one thing in healthcare, what would it be?

There are so many things that need to be fixed. First, we need to simplify HIPAA. HIPAA is like using a sledgehammer to kill a fly.  There wasn’t that big of a problem with confidentiality, and we created a solution that is too big. It’s expensive and it put healthcare providers and physicians, and other providers out of business, creating more plaintiff suits. In our modern world with hackers, you can’t control the violations.

Also, STARK needs to be addressed. It’s too complicated and too easy to violate.  We need a system to regulate fraud in a reasonable manner without having physicians thinking they can’t afford to practice anymore.  This is a big reason physicians are being employed by hospitals and large groups now because they can’t afford to practice on their own due to the costly infrastructure.

What is your greatest strength as a manager of your healthcare team?

I really care about the people I work with.  I want them to succeed and will do anything to help them succeed.

 How do you revitalize yourself?

I love to read.  When the weather is good, I take walks with my dog, Boone.  I play with my grandchildren when they are around or do FaceTime with them.

Who has influenced you both personally and professionally?

My grandmother influenced me personally. I would stay with her on her farm for a couple of weeks over the summer. I just loved her.  She was wonderful. She always supported me.

There are so many professional influencers. My first boss at the Department of Insurance, Diane Morris, was a big influence.  She was a few years older than me.  She told me to be nice to everyone on your way up because you never know who you will meet on your way down.  Of course, you should be nice anyway.  She would find humor in any situation. She taught me to laugh at things and not take myself too seriously.