About Pratscher Law
An Elder Law Practice is a multi-faceted, individualized and often complicated area of practice that gives special consideration to the issues that face the aging population as well as for those who maybe disabled, regardless of age. Peggy Pratscher welcomes the opportunity to carefully listen to and discuss the specific concerns and circumstances of her clients to assist them with planning and implementation of legal methods of meeting individual needs and goals that help them maintain independence as much as possible and attain/sustain a sense of personal dignity. Of course, early planning and goal setting are always the preferred means to accomplishment of goals, however we are cognizant that health and legal circumstances can arise without warning, which can make pre-planning difficult or sometimes impossible. Peggy and her staff strive to treat our clients with respect, concern, understanding and patience, in the same manner that we would want to be treated if we were seeking professional advice and assistance. Our lives are forever touched and changed by our clients and we are thankful for the opportunity each client presents to us.
About Peggy Pratscher
I am a 2002 graduate of the John Marshall Law School in Chicago, Illinois. I graduated Magna Cum Laude from Elmhurst College in 1999 with a degree in Business Administration and entered Law School immediately thereafter. I was admitted to the Illinois Bar in November of 2002. Immediately after graduating from Law School, I accepted an associate position with a plaintiff’s medical malpractice/personal injury firm in Chicago, however my desire to be an advocate for seniors and those with disabilities grew stronger, which eventually lead me to my current practice in Elder Law in September, 2003. By choice, I remain the only attorney on staff and maintain a small but efficient support staff of caring individuals to work with my clients. It is my requirement that my staff and I try to live and practice with the wisdom of Winston Churchill, whose words greet my clients upon entry to my office: “We Make A Living By What We Get, We Make A Life By What We Give.”
Professionally, I am an active member of the DuPage County Bar Association, the Illinois Bar Association, the DuPage Association of Women Lawyers and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. In addition, I am an active member of the Wheaton Rotary Club, being a strong believer in their dedication and commitment to “Service Before Self.” Rotary allows me to give back to the community in which I grew up and received such unconditional love and support. In my legal career, I have been a frequently requested speaker in the banking, healthcare, insurance and legal industries to address issues of exploitation, responsibilities of fiduciaries, long term care evaluations and management and legal issues facing the aging and disabled populations. I serve as faculty for the University of Illinois presenting certification seminars for their programs for Gerontology, Case Management and other periodic programs addressing medical-legal issues facing healthcare professionals.
My first career began as a professional registered nurse, graduating in 1975 and working at RUSH Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago. I have practiced nursing continuously until starting my law career. My nursing career of over three (3) decades has spanned the practice areas of critical care, rehabilitation, neurological injuries, psychiatric conditions, oncology, pediatrics and neonatology, medical-surgical nursing, discharge planning and long term care planning. I have worked in hospitals, nursing facilities, home care and as a case manager for insurance companies, third party administrators and private firms performing Case Management (CM) and Utilization Review (UR) on behalf of their benefit plan clients. I was one of the first insurance based case managers in the state and worked with the corporate office of my first CM employer, Aetna Insurance, to create their national and local CM program to serve their diverse base of clients. This was a very exciting, cutting edge and newly developing path for nurses in the early 1980’s and the experience was “priceless,” as the saying goes. My exposure and experience in group and individual health claims, ERISA and Taft-Hartley benefit plans has provided me with a special understanding of how benefits work and how different benefits coordinate, compliment and sometimes conflict. I have always been active in professional organizations and served as President of the State of Illinois Continuity of Care Organization for two (2) terms and held every officer position of the Chicago Claims Association.
I started a consulting firm in 1989 to provide quality assurance services for the evaluation, restructuring or creation of CM and UR programs for private firms, insurance companies, third party administrators and reinsurance companies and was often responsible for writing the policy and procedure manuals, hiring and training staff for the created programs, and general troubleshooting to streamline production and improve client satisfaction (both company clients and the patients they served) with the benefit programs. These diverse experiences brought forth in me, a new level of creativity and thought processes that I use today to assist my clients with their complicated, often unusual, frequently devastating life situations. I am forever indebted to the many companies who hired me and the opportunities of working with tens of thousands of patients in my nursing career that have taught me to listen, to care, sometimes to worry and to help my clients pursue what is legally permittable, ethical, moral and just.
I am still happily married to my high school sweetheart, over 30 years and counting! Our son has recently returned from 6 years of proud service to his country in the Air Force and currently works with me as my office manager for the practice, while pursuing his higher educational goals. This of course, makes me exceptionally proud and happier than he, however he survives quite well despite his occasional comments intended to keep me in line! We are all animal lovers and currently have a Shih Tzu, a Doberman and an orange Tabby cat. The “boys” have to carefully keep me under control because I am a soft heart for strays!
When I can find spare time, I love oil painting and riding my Harley, with or without the boys, both activities being both therapeutic and enjoyable for me. I am an avid reader, mostly mysteries (when not reading law or nursing journals) and I sing in the church choir. I feel blessed to have our 89 and 91 year old mothers still living independently and part of our lives, even with the occasional elder issues! It keeps me in touch with the struggles we all are or will face. It is always a blessing to find time to be with family and as our family shrinks as we age, I become increasingly more aware of how important our relationships are to our overall well being and how we each discover our own strengths and how we find resources to get through life’s challenges.