The Importance and Value of Business Partners

By Patricia B. Isaacson 

The value of a business partner goes far beyond the monetary discounts provided to ALA members.  Too often we see our wonderful business partners as simply a source of economic value to our firms since they provide valuable resources as commodities.  However, we don’t understand how valuable they can be to our firm above and beyond the economic savings they bring to the firm’s bottom line.

Last year, when my firm had an RFP for a new broker to handle our benefits, we interviewed seven companies who either had connections with our firm, were valued ALA business partners or came to us through a connection.  We needed a broker who understood the complex nature of our benefits program and had stretch beyond our local area, as we have members’ children who have doctors at Johns Hopkins and utilize CHOP (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia).  They also needed to understand that we cannot outsource patient resources (as many brokers have done). We need a consistent contact who understood our firm and our desires.  In the end, we chose Jamison, since they have a national presence through their partnerships, handle patient advocacy internally and have a strong team equipped to handle all our concerns.  In fact, our finalists were all NJALA business partners (due to the strength of their focus on member services), but Jamison’s broad reach gave our partners comfort due to our size and employee needs.

The true test of patient advocacy came when a partner’s daughter was in critical care in a local hospital and needed to be transported to Johns Hopkins in an ambulance with an ICU nurse for their neurological specialties.  The partner felt it wouldn’t happen, and his daughter might die, since we would have to get so many different pieces approved and put into place.  I said, “let me make a call and see if Jamison can help us”.  They are part of a national network, have an amazing patient advocate program and will go above and beyond.  Within thirteen hours, and once she was stable enough to transport, the partner’s daughter was in an ambulance on her way to Johns Hopkins.  Every piece fell right into place.  Miracles happened that day/night and we felt the folks at Jamison had a big hand in making them happen.

Though business partners focus on different specialty areas, they all continually go above and beyond for their law firm clients.  I know business partners who have referred clients to other companies because they couldn’t handle the issue the law firm had in an urgent matter, but they knew who could through their networks.  They make the seemingly impossible happen—above and beyond giving us the best service at the best price.  Your first call should be to a NJALA business partner and you will never be disappointed. 

Patricia B. Isaacson is the Executive Director of Davison, Eastman, Muñoz, Lederman & Paone, P.A. in Freehold, New Jersey.


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