January 17, 2000
Sherwin P. Simmons
Commission on Multidisciplinary Practice
Center for Professional Responsibility
American Bar Association
541 North Fairbanks Court
Chicago, IL 60611-3314
Dear Mr. Simmons:
As the supervisor of a busy geriatric ambulatory care program which offers multi-disciplinary comprehensive geriatric assessment, I am very well aware of the benefits of the multidisciplinary practice. As a part of the service we provide we refer our patients and their family members to community service providers, including attorneys for estate planning, guardianship and other personal business. One of the reasons families choose the services at froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital, an Academic Medical Center, a primary affiliate of the Medical College of Wisconsin is that we work with other medical specialists on the same campus. Patient information is consolidated into a single record; easily accessible to all specialists involved in the patients care. I liken this to the issue at hand where a consolidated record of information can be exchanged amongst the various providers providing services through a law office. This multi-disciplinary approach to service seems very well suited for financial planning, tax advising, guardianships and legal matters.
This letter is written in support of changing the current law that obstructs multi-disciplinary practices between attorneys and social service providers and other advocates for older adults.
Kari Klatt, RN, CICSW
Senior Health Program