The Impact of Conflict in Health Care and the Need for Conflict Competent Lawyers

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The healthcare industry is in the midst of fundamental changes that go beyond the reform of financing structures and access to coverage. In addition to health care reform, there are major changes involving quality of care, patient safety, education of health professionals, and an aging population seeking access to a broader range of services. Health professionals struggling to meet the competing demands find themselves faced with a high prevalence of conflict that impacts patient care, increases health care costs, and diminishes job satisfaction and personal wellbeing. Debra Gerardi will discuss the significant role that lawyers playing both the resolution and the generation of conflict within health care organizations and how lawyers can become advocates for safer and more cost effective care by developing their own capacity to understand and engage in conflict both with and on behalf of their clients. Ms. Gerardi will share how developing conflict competence is a necessary component of professional legal practice that requires a broader look at what it means to advocate for both consumers and providers of health services.

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