Hospital administrators take great care in hiring the most qualified medical professionals; doctors, nurses, and technicians with degrees from top schools and histories of providing quality patient care. Retaining an attorney to represent the facility may seem like a lesser concern, but don’t underestimate the importance of making the right choice to your hospital’s success, especially in terms of the digital industry. With electronic records needing to be kept secure, malpractice claims to be handled, and the possibility of fraud, having a lawyer at your hospital is more important than ever. Read on to find out what a lawyer can bring to your hospital.
The Value of Expertise
The potential legal issues that face even a small outpatient clinic are daunting. We all know about the risk of malpractice and wrongful death claims, but hospitals must also deal with employee claims of all types, negotiations with commercial landlords if they rent their space, and—perhaps most intimidating—responding to any violations alleged by an accrediting agency. When hospital administrators attempt to handle these matters themselves, it can be a recipe for disaster. Conversations with disgruntled employees may go unrecorded, agreements with landlords may not be memorialized in writing, and well-meaning staff members may inadvertently make inaccurate statements. Your health care attorney understands how to handle all of these scenarios in a way that minimizes disruptions to your business, as well as costs.
Choosing the Right Lawyer
How do you choose the right attorney? One thing to look at is whether the attorney has a degree from one of the top health law schools, one known for turning out top health care lawyers. Another is whether the attorney has real life experience in health care law. Pick an attorney who has successfully represented hospitals and clinics before. Likewise, bear in mind that a more senior attorney is going to command a higher hourly rate—but that doesn’t mean a bigger legal bill. Someone with more experience can settle claims faster, or prevent them in the first place by providing good advice.
Along those lines, don’t wait until you are faced with a pending claim to identify and retain your health care attorney. You may be able to prevent that expensive claim from happening in the first place by having your business analyzed by legal counsel. Do you have contracts that won’t hold up in court, or that fail to provide for all the possibilities? Are the releases your patients sign prior to procedures adequate? Are you in compliance with all the requirements of your accrediting agency and are all staff members ready to pass a surprise inspection with flying colors? These are all questions that your health care attorney can help answer.
Especially in this digital age, having an attorney for your hospital is essential. Besides the financial benefits of avoiding expensive claims, having someone making sure that the establishment is complying on all laws related to the field will help maintain your reputation. Make sure your legal team is as strong as your medical team and your success will be ensured!