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Hardenbergh Group

Thought Leadership Series 2023

The Physician Leader, Attorney, and Medical Services Professional — A Critical Partnership

Wednesday, February 15, 2023
1-2pm Eastern Time

This presentation will highlight the interactions between the physician leader, attorney, and Medical Services Professional. The critical relationship between all three will be looked at from a process and outcome perspective with focus given to identifying division of roles and responsibilities, areas that cause the greatest concern, and opportunities to effectively work together resulting in increased satisfaction amongst all parties. Case studies will be discussed to help reinforce important points.

In our program, Mark Smith, MD, MBA, Chief Medical Officer, The Hardenbergh Group and Erin Muellenberg, JD, CPMSM, CPCS, Attorney, Polsinelli will:

  1. Identify three areas of process improvement in the interaction between the physician leader, attorney, and Medical Services Professional
  2. Explain when and how to involve an attorney in the Physican Performance Improvement program
  3. Discuss in detail three action items to decrease the probability of an unsuccessful fair hearing


Rick Barton

Credentials, Title

Rick Barton has represented healthcare providers and health systems for more than 40 years. Rick’s consulting and litigation practice focuses on health systems, hospitals, health associations, physician groups, and individual healthcare providers. As a trial lawyer, he has represented providers in hundreds of matters before juries, appellate courts, arbitrators, administrative courts, and regulatory bodies and, as such, has been recognized as one of the Best Lawyers in America. For the past 20 years, Rick has focused his practice on the representation of Medical Staffs and Hospital Boards, assisting with their quality oversight obligations, governance, and administrative hearings and process.

Since 2010, Rick has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law for the University of San Diego, School of Law teaching Health Law and Policy. He serves as a Board Member for California Public Protection and Physician Health (CPPPH) and played a leading role in the authorship of the CPPPH White Paper on the Assessment of Late-Career Practitioners. He has been a regular guest speaker around the US on topics regarding physician wellness, quality improvement, and oversight. For the past 10 years Rick has been serving as a Hearing Officer in administrative hearings for Medical Staffs wherein physicians are challenging medical staff actions. He is currently member of the California Society for Healthcare Attorneys (CSHA) Hearing Officer Committee as well as a member of the American Health Lawyers Association (AHLA) Dispute Resolution panel.

Mark Smith

MD, MBA, Chief Medical Officer

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