1. Pettignano, Robert MD, FAAP, FCCM, MBA
  2. Caley, Sylvia B. JD, MBA, RN
  3. McLaren, Susan MPH, FACHE


Addressing the legal issues of patients of low socioeconomic status can be useful in increasing organizational reimbursements, reducing costs and improving access to care. Medical-legal partnership is an addition to the health care armamentarium that directly addresses this goal. A medical-legal partnership is an interdisciplinary collaboration between a medical entity such as a hospital or clinic and a legal entity such as a law school or legal aid society that addresses barriers to access to care and limitations to well-being experienced by patients of low socioeconomic status. The Health Law Partnership is one such medical legal partnership that provides a holistic, interdisciplinary approach to health care. An evaluation of the legal and educational services provided by Health Law Partnership showed that Health Law Partnership secured otherwise unreimbursed Medicaid payments for services over a 4-year period from 2006 to 2010, increased physician satisfaction, and saved hospital employers approximately $10 000 in continuing education costs annually.