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Healthcare Risk Management Quotes Paul Werner on Knowing When to Call a Lawyer 

When is the right time to call a lawyer? Healthcare Risk Management turned to Buttaci, Leardi & Werner’s Paul D. Werner for the article “Knowing When to Call a Lawyer Can Help Avoid Bigger Problems.” Werner regularly represents physicians and healthcare providers in internal investigations into regulatory compliance issues, and frequently advises clients on proactive risk management. 

Published in the February 2024 issue, the article addresses when healthcare risk managers should seek legal counsel when faced with a problem that could lead to liability or regulatory penalties.

Werner noted that risk managers may sometimes avoid involving legal counsel to keep an issue from escalating, particularly if they think the other party will respond negatively to communication from a lawyer rather than from someone within the organization. But that may put the healthcare organization at a disadvantage. 

“If the thought popped into your head about whether I should be asking our lawyers about this, the answer to the question is almost always yes,” Werner explained. In many cases, Werner said, a situation that is legally challenging to the risk manager will be straightforward to legal counsel.

“We’ve had instances where something’s been brought to our attention, and it’s been obvious to us from the beginning that they had a lawyer on the back end feeding the script. That’s important to recognize up front, because then maybe we take the same role,” Werner said. “Just because you as the risk manager contact your lawyer doesn’t mean that you lose control of the case, and the lawyer takes it and runs with it.” The full article can be read at Healthcare Risk Management subscription required).

  • Posted on: Feb 7 2024