The Assistant Vice President – Medical Risk Management is the lead attorney and administrator for all healthcare liability and risk mitigation matters and is responsible for development and implementation of risk reduction strategies, ensuring compliance with all legal and regulatory requirements for the delivery of healthcare, and malpractice litigation prevention and defense. Reporting directly to the Vice President for Legal Affairs, this role is responsible for leading a team of attorneys, nurse risk managers, and administrative support staff to ensure the successful overall function of the Division. Core practice areas include patient care complaints, grievances, warnings and terminations; controlled substance regulations; telemedicine; informed consent; medical record keeping; medical licensure, credentialing, professional liability, and malpractice; risk liability associated with patient care and treatment; and, quality assessment and process improvement.
Experience and Education
- J.D. from an ABA-accredited law school;
- License to practice law in the State of Texas; and,
- At least eight (8) years professional legal experience as a practicing attorney.
- Progressive experience representing academic medical centers and/or complex hospital/healthcare entities.
- Experience defending complex medical malpractice claims and litigation management.
- Experience with government agency audits or investigations in the hospital setting (e.g., Joint Commission, HHS, DEA, licensing bodies).
- Demonstrated leadership competencies and experience managing attorneys and support staff.
The Assistant Vice President – Medical Risk Management at UT Southwestern is:
- A confident and knowledgeable legal advisor who works well independently and collaboratively.
- A trusted partner who develops productive working relationships with colleagues at all levels of the University and affiliated entities.
- A critical thinker with good judgment who applies legal knowledge and expertise to help clinical leaders and practitioners minimize legal risk.
- A decisive problem-solver who can advise institutional leadership on risks and benefits of varying approaches to healthcare operations.
- A self-motivated professional with excellent verbal and written communication skills who ensures the Division consistently produces a high volume of quality legal work.
- An engaged leader who manages, develops, and retains a talented team of attorneys, nurse risk managers, and administrative staff that can succeed in a dynamic and demanding environment.
- Lead a team of attorneys, nurse risk managers, and support staff responsible for ensuring University policies and practices in the areas of medical risk and malpractice meet all applicable legal and regulatory requirements; protect University and members of its medical staff from potential legal action related to clinical care; pro-actively provide legal support to providers and staff involved in clinical care to ensure compliance and minimize potential risk.
- Oversee all medical malpractice claims against the University and its providers; manage pre-litigation and litigation malpractice matters; work directly with the UT System Medical Malpractice Insurance Plan, the Office of General Counsel, the Office of the Attorney General, and outside counsel, as applicable, to favorably resolve medical malpractice claims and litigation.
- Identify and analyze potential legal and regulatory risks related to clinical and hospital practice; recommend and implement mitigation strategies and best practices; proactively identify possible changes to clinical practices and policies to minimize risk.
- Provide legal analysis and support in matters involving clinical faculty and staff licensure and credentialing; handle complaints, investigations, and subpoenas from licensing bodies; deliver continuing medical education and continuing nursing education.
- Responsible for setting Division priorities and budget and for developing efficient procedures and workflows; oversee Division staff recruitment, hiring, performance, development, and training; identify key performance metrics for all Division personnel.
- Oversee and coordinate University’s response to complaints, audits, and investigations by governmental agencies involving medical care issues (e.g., DEA, HHS, Joint Commission).
- Advise HIM and clinical providers on matters concerning appropriate access, use and disclosure of PHI under HIPAA and compliant record-keeping policies, practices and systems.
- Provide leadership and legal support to the institutional Professional Liability Committee (“PLC”); prepare PLC meeting agendas, presentations, and minutes; present analysis of malpractice complaints, lawsuits and potential liability matters; recommend resolutions to the PLC; provide recommendations regarding PLC membership, goals and priorities.
- Oversee patient grievance process regarding treatment and healthcare outcomes; manage nurse risk manager team responsible for investigation and review of patient grievances; recommend billing adjustments or other resolutions to ensure regulatory compliance and minimize exposure; provide legal support to the Patient Assistance Office in handling patient complaints regarding all other matters that are not directly related to healthcare outcomes.
- Advise physicians and leadership on matters relating to termination of care; oversee preparation of patient warning and termination letters; oversee termination process to ensure regulatory compliance and safe transition of care.
- Responsible for responding to complaints filed against clinical staff with licensing/regulatory bodies; coordinate with involved provider, Office of General Counsel, and outside counsel, as appropriate.
- Establish and develop productive working relationships and open communication with clinical leaders on day-to-day matters to promote risk reduction, ethical clinical practice, and regulatory and statutory compliance.
- Provide legal support to standing and ad hoc institutional committees, including University President task force; provide executive administration with legal counsel on operations, policy, ethics, and other legal and regulatory matters.
- Performs other duties as required.
Knowledge, Skills & Abilities
- Work requires extensive legal knowledge of medical risk, malpractice, medical records, and physician and nurse credentialing and licensure matters.
- Work requires knowledge of regulatory compliance affecting provision of clinical and hospital care.
- Work requires ability to read, write, develop plans and procedures, and coordinate persons and other resources to accomplish goals.
- Work requires leadership competencies and ability to effectively supervise and manage attorneys, risk managers, and support staff.
- Work requires the ability to function both independently and in team-oriented environment.
- Work requires the ability to communicate effectively via electronic, telephone and personal means with individuals at all levels of the University and external organizations.
Work is performed primarily in general office area.
This position is security-sensitive and subject to Texas Education Code 51.215, which authorizes UT Southwestern to obtain criminal history record information.
UT Southwestern Medical Center is committed to an educational and working environment that provides equal opportunity to all members of the University community. As an equal opportunity employer, UT Southwestern prohibits unlawful discrimination, including discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, disability, genetic information, citizenship status, or veteran status.