Krysten Joyce is a health policy consultant in the Institute for Health Policy at Kaiser Permanente. In her role, Krysten provides content and strategy expertise to organization’s drug pricing and coverage initiatives. She also conducts research, tracks policy developments, and facilitates conversations among internal and external experts in the field. She is currently particularly focused on fair drug pricing policy and vaccine development. Other topics she tracks include universal coverage policy, affordability, and delivery system reform.
Prior to joining Kaiser Permanente, Krysten served as Strategy and Policy Manager at the Colorado State Innovation Model, a federally funded initiative under the Governor’s office, where she identified policy strategies to improve access to integrated physical and behavioral health and led state efforts to explore development of new alternative payment models. Before that, she served as the health care staffer for U.S. Senator Mark Udall (D-CO), advising on issues including the Affordable Care Act, women’s reproductive health, and rural health services.
Krysten holds a bachelor’s degree and a master of public health degree in health policy and management from the University of California, Berkeley.
Get to know Krysten
What are your areas of policy expertise?
Throughout my career, I have focused on coverage and affordability, physical and behavioral health integration, and drug pricing. More recently, due the COVID-19 pandemic, I have been spending a large part of my day tracking vaccine issues – from candidate development, evolving federal policy and regulation, and state vaccination plans.
Tell us about a few of your professional accomplishments.
I have over a decade of experience in health policy, having worked in both state and federal government and the non-profit sector. During my time as staff in the US Senate, I was proud to be a part of the effort to protect women’s health and access to contraception, including authoring one of the Senator’s final Senate floor speeches countering the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision.
Prior to joining Kaiser Permanente, I led policy and strategy for the State Innovation Model (SIM), a $65 million federal initiative under the Governor’s Office in Colorado that changed the way health care is delivered and paid for in the state. One of my final responsibilities before the initiative concluded was serving as lead author of the SIM Sustainability Plan, which outlined recommendations to the State for sustaining key investments and activities implemented with SIM funding to ensure ongoing payment and delivery system reform.
At Kaiser Permanente, I have led many policy forums to inform key policymakers and stakeholders on issues related to drug pricing and health coverage. I have also authored a variety of briefs – with topics ranging from biosimilars to pharmaceutical marketing – to support KP’s advocacy efforts.
What drives you in health policy?
I am committed to the belief that everyone should have access to affordable, accessible, quality health care. In order to achieve universal access to care, systems and payment models must encourage appropriate ways to treat the whole person, including thinking beyond the clinic walls and integrating social determinants of health into health care services. I am encouraged by the growing conversation to define health in a more holistic way and will continue to look for opportunities and partnerships to support this trend in my work at Kaiser Permanente.
Outside of work, what interests you?
I am lucky enough to be based in the Rocky Mountains and so I of course love to ski – uphill, downhill, with my puppy – and explore my nearby trails. And this past year, I’ve been testing my cooking (yes, including sourdough bread) and sewing skills…both which have yielded mixed results.