Billable Hours vs. Disclosure...
Billable Hours vs. Disclosure August 10, 2011, Doug Wojcieszak, 618-559-8168, firstname.lastname@example.org I heard it from a friend who is a senior executive in a major hospital system:
"Disclosure has taken a step back during the Great Recession because many defense lawyers are hungry for billable hours. They're putting the kibosh on early resolution and healing, and churning files to pay the bills. It's very unethical, but they get away with it because who's gonna argue with the lawyers?"
Wow! That's a powerful statement.
You know, we've always said docs and hospital execs are usually worried what PI lawyers - the so-called enemy - is going to think about disclosure, but they don't know to ask or worry about what their so- called friends in the defense bar are thinking about disclosure. This statement from my friend should give docs and hospital execs plenty to think about -- and worry about too.
When it comes to disclosure, who sets the tone in your organization: docs and c-suite, or do the lawyers call all the shots? If it's the lawyers, you've got problems. Big problems. Now, I'm not bashing all defense lawyers --- plenty of good defense attorneys out there who get disclosure and do it right. But we still have too many barristers who a) were only trained to fight and b) churn files to meet their cash flow needs. Lawyers win, while docs, patients, and families lose.
It's maddening and absolutely sickening when you think about it: Docs, patients, and families are literally prevented from working together to find healing and closure all so some guy or gal with "JD" behind their name finds new and creative ways to pay the bills. Gimme a break.
It's gotta stop --- and it stops when docs and c-suite confront the lawyers. Ask the lawyers where they stand on disclosure, and if they give the wrong answer, fire them. That's right -- fire them! Plenty of good disclosure hospitals and insurers out there can tell war stories of ditching lawyers who didn't want to ball the right way.
Remember this: The lawyers work for you, not the other way around. You must set the ethical tone for your organization, and demand their compliance --- or tell them to hit the road. Because in this economy, you have plenty of lawyers to choose from!
To learn more about Sorry Works!, consider inviting us for a presentation to your hospital, insurance company, or association. Call 618-559-8168 or e-mail email@example.com.
Doug Wojcieszak, Founder Sorry Works! PO Box 531 Glen Carbon, IL 62034 618-559-8168 (direct dial)