MEMBER SPOTLIGHT - CYNTHIA HIBNICK
Contributed By: Naomi M. Massave, Attorney at Carlton Fields and WCC Communications Committee member
Cynthia Hibnick has a very defined niche – she protects Doctors, Businesses, and Doctors’ Businesses.℠
At her law firm, Cynthia Barnett Hibnick, P.A., Cynthia developed a unique service for her doctor clients that she now calls “VIP|Concierge Attorney.”℠ “I have a lot of doctor friends, and I found they were often calling me in ‘panic mode,’” she said. “I found I could usually talk them in off the ledge in about 15 or 20 minutes.” Cynthia said her friends were terrified of the exposure they might be facing to their medical licenses and their finances, and she realized that many doctors would hire her for this type of service that she was providing to her friends.
She then started interviewing her doctor friends over dinner to refine the concept that became “VIP|Concierge Attorney.”℠ Clients pay a flat rate for this service, where they can call Cynthia 24 hours a day for guidance and support. If their issues require more legal work, such as research and drafting or litigation, they pay Cynthia at a reduced hourly rate.
During these interviews, Cynthia learned that most doctors are terrified of medical malpractice claims, but she said often, that should be the least of their worries. Doctors are frequently exposed to potential civil fines, and civil and/or criminal liability for how they run their practices because of federal and state regulations. True to her detail-oriented nature, Cynthia developed a 17-page Practice Protection Checklist℠ for her clients, ranging from auto policy to worker’s comp. This enables her to identify the practice’s risks and vulnerabilities, and then triage them to address the most crucial ones first.
Cynthia can also conduct a business survey for businesses and medical practices, reviewing existing contracts, business documents and forms to ensure that they comply with the appropriate regulations. She will then suggest revisions, which she can of course perform for the business or practice. She also works with ancillary professionals, such as insurance brokers, accountants, bankers and IT personnel, as well as attorneys in other practice areas, when she identifies the need. Her goal is to address pitfalls before they happen – and if they do happen, to address them quickly and confidentially. Cynthia says a lot of her practice is giving business advice, drawing on the experience she has gained through 28 years of practice.
In order to market her practice, Cynthia does a number of speaking events, and Continuing Medical Education classes on medical/legal issues. She said she learned about many of these issues while defending physicians and health care providers in litigation. She started seeing patterns in the issues the doctors were having, and began lecturing on recurring issues with the goal of prevention.
Cynthia says she has always been passionate about health care, particularly parity in health care, and believes it is one of the preeminent issues of this generation. Cynthia has a strong litigation background, having spent many years representing plaintiffs in catastrophic personal injury and medical malpractice cases. She said the turning point occurred when medical management companies and insurance carriers started approaching her to defend their doctors and corporations. Soon after, non-medical businesses began to request her services as well. Today, she does almost all defense work, on behalf of commercial businesses, as well as doctors and health care providers.
In addition to health care, Cynthia also has a passion for women’s issues. She tries to mentor younger female attorneys and give as much business to other women as she can. In addition to being active in the Women’s Chamber of Commerce, she is also becoming more involved with the Women’s Fund of Miami-Dade as a grantor/site inspector. Cynthia’s particular focus is on women’s economic self-sufficiency. She believes women will never be in equal positions with men unless they are equal economically. Cynthia explained that self-sufficiency is not just about being able to support oneself, but also being financially knowledgeable. She frequently gives out copies of Suze Orman’s Women and Money. “If you’re not in control of your own finances, you have no power,” Cynthia said.
Cynthia’s other passion is reading. She is part of a women’s book club, and a member of the Brickell Avenue Literary Society. She never reads the book jackets because she thinks they give away too much.
Cynthia Barnett Hibnick, P.A.
One Datran Center, Suite 1607
9100 South Dadeland Blvd.
Miami, FL 33156
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