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Changing health care landscape demands proven legal counsel

Medicine is a business. It hasn't always been viewed that way. In fact, a lot of doctors who came up through the ranks back before World War II would likely confirm that when it came to learning their trade, the business side of things was never even touched on. The focus then was on making sure doctors were as good as they could be in delivering care within the context of the science of the day.

It should come as no surprise to anyone in Dutchess County that a lot has changed. Up until a few years ago, the notion of what constituted a best practice was framed by whoever happened to be a med student's professor on rounds. That could mean that what a doctor in New York might consider the proper standard could be significantly different from what might be taught in any other state. Today, standards of care are most often set by broad consensus within a given specialty.

Nor can you dismiss the effect that government regulation has on things. Insurance coverage is the elephant in the room and Medicare tends to influence what gets paid and how. And then there is the government's drive to adopt electronic medical records all while working to maintain patient privacy.

What this all reflects is that the business of medicine is complicated. Not only can a provider be faced with issues related to alleged malpractice in the delivery of care, but also the myriad laws affecting business structure and practice can represent a virtual legal minefield.

In this environment, a care facility, doctor, nurse or other provider can find it hard to stay focused on the priority of delivering the best in health care to patients. Turning to experienced counsel when legal issues are apparent is the way to ensure a practice stays on track to success.

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