Evidence-based speculation on the number of health systems that have an in-house legal department

The 2012 General Counsel Metrics benchmark survey has staffing and spending data so far from more than 80 law departments at hospital and health systems.  A friend of mine told me that the “Joint Commission” that accredits U.S. hospitals recognized 5,754 of them in early 2012.  Their total expenses were $750 billion, and he explained that generally speaking the revenue of a hospital equals its expenses.  If so, those accredited hospitals averaged about $130 million in revenue.

 

Release 1.0 of this year’s GC Metrics survey (sent in June to participants) shows that the median for 68 health systems was 5.0 lawyers for every billion dollars of revenue.  If that ratio holds for the total revenue of the accredited hospital systems, that would mean 3,750 in-house counsel (750*5).   And, one more speculation: if we assume on average 3 lawyers per department, that suggests on the order of 1,250 health system law departments in the United States.

 

If you would like to participate, absolutely free, in the GC Metrics law department benchmark survey and get Release 2.0 in early August, provide the six data figures on staffing and spending by clicking on this secure survey link.

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