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The purpose of this article is to review the current dispute over the corporate attorney-client privilege and work product doctrine and to explore its impact on the provision of health care. The article's principal thesis is that a strong attorney-client privilege, along with robust work product protection, is critical to the business of health care, the quality of medical services, and the effective enforcement of federal and state health care laws. Part I begins with a brief account of the origins and scope of the conflict between federal law enforcement policies and the corporate attorney-client privilege and work product doctrine in recent years. Part II then turns to a discussion of the intricate web of laws governing health care services and the role of counsel in facilitating understanding of, and adherence to, these laws. Part III explains why the corporate attorney-client privilege is essential to the business of American health care, concluding that health care providers, professionals and counsel need to engage in the debate and exercise constant vigilance to protect the corporate attorney-client privilege.



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