Karen Bentley
Karen Bentley

Karen Bentley, MHA

Associate Principal

Health Management Associates

Raleigh, NC

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A strategic management executive and business transformation leader, Karen Bentley develops growth-oriented strategic plans designed to elevate organizational capabilities and meet long-term milestones. Karen is adept at implementing organizational redesign plans, stakeholder engagement strategies, and board and leadership development. She focuses on aligning with client goals, customer requirements, and contemporary industry demands to achieve objectives in revenue, performance, efficiency, and quality in the healthcare and hospital space.  

Before joining Health Management Associates, Karen founded Bentley Consulting Group and served as president, offering strategic and operational advising to small and medium-sized businesses. In executing one of her notable contracts, Karen provided consulting work recommendations to a client with $1 billion in revenue, resulting in a 3 percent increased net promoter score in 12 months. Karen conducted a forensic reputation analysis to repair reputational damage and rebuild stakeholder confidence by synthesizing feedback from 1,500 digital stakeholder surveys and 100 stakeholder interviews, leading to operational recommendations for the provider network, care coordination, member engagement, utilization management and stakeholder communications.

In addition to her demonstrated consulting success, Karen has implemented numerous strategic improvements working for MCOs and healthcare providers. As director of service line operations with Novant Health, she led operational improvements for 100 outpatient clinics with revenues exceeding $500 million for the then largest medical group in the United States. Her guidance led to 95 percent of the clinics achieving patient satisfaction scores that reached g the 90th percentile ranking. Karen also spearheaded development of an operational dashboard with comprehensive reporting and analysis of market-and clinic-level quality metrics, patient access metrics, patient satisfaction metrics, financial reports, and budget variances. The dashboard served as blueprint for identifying operational priorities, resulting in a 5 percent aggregate increase in service line profitability. 

As vice president of Cardinal Innovations Healthcare, Karen led the transformation of divisional structure and operations through proactive talent management, process improvement, leadership development, and performance metrics, resulting in a 10 percent increase in member satisfaction. She championed implementation of the first-ever strategic plan for the community operations team focusing on stakeholder and member satisfaction, talent optimization, resource utilization, change management, and operational readiness.

Throughout her career, Karen has also prioritized engaging stakeholders and cross-collaborating with organizational leaders to achieve results. She has led teams responsible for reputational management at both Cardinal Innovations and Novant Health, strengthening stakeholder confidence and strategic partnerships. For Cardinal Innovations, this resulted in a 3 percent increase in the net promoter score across all stakeholder segments. With Novant Health, this allowed her to serve as an effective face for the organization and build multiple new clinic sites.

Karen has a passion for public service as demonstrated by her four-term tenure on the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners where she effectively advocated for her constituents to deliver needed infrastructure and services to the community.

Karen earned her Master of Healthcare Administration in health policy and administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has a bachelor’s degree in business and economics from the University of Montana. A certified executive coach, Karen received her certification from the Center for Executive Coach, accredited by the International Coaching Federation (ICF).

In her spare time, Karen serves on multiple boards for organizations driving positive impact to local communities, including the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce and the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority. She also enjoys hosting dinner parties, playing piano, and spending time outdoors hiking, running, and kayaking.