The Health Care Provider’s Simple Guide to Responding to a Board of Healing Arts Complaint

The Health Care Provider’s Simple Guide to Responding to a Board of Healing Arts Complaint

The letter appears to be an innocuous business letter in a non-descript envelope. The text is usually passive in tone, asking you to respond to what is normally a one-page handwritten complaint by a disgruntled former patient. It would be…

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“Altogether Now” – The Necessity of Practice-Wide Policies and Procedures

Most physicians and other medical professionals have developed “their” way of doing things over the course of their careers, and changing those practices can be difficult. However, when it comes to operating a successful, and claims-free, medical practice, uniformity is…

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Document Your Way Out of a Claim

If it isn’t written, it wasn’t done.   Nowhere is this maxim more applicable than medical charting. However, these days documenting a visit in the usual SOAP format (Subjective, Objective, Assessment, Plan) may not be enough, as adroit plaintiffs’ attorneys…

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Communication is the Key: Take Small Steps to Avoid Big Problems

You have surely heard it several times: patients who believe they have a good relationship with their physician are considerably less likely to sue in the event of an adverse outcome. But a physician need not spend hours with each…

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Dealing with an Adverse Event: Saying “I’m sorry” Without Admitting Fault

Adverse events are bound to occur over the course of a physician’s career. If a procedure does not go as anticipated or your patient develops an unforeseen complication, you may not know how best to address the situation with the…

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Medical Record Documentation: Do’s and Don’ts

Contributed by Peter Spataro and Morgan Murphy, Brown & James, P.C. If your patient suffers complications and decides to file a lawsuit against you, your medical records will come under intense scrutiny. The saying goes, “hope for the best; prepare…

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The Consequences of Patients Dictating Treatment

One of the challenges for doctors is handling a wide variety of personalities – some patients are entirely trusting while others second-guess everything. The interrelationship between physician and patient is certainly affected by the personalities of both.   In some…

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Informed Consent and Claim Avoidance

Many cases are won and lost on the issue of informed consent.  The procedure may have gone well, or the outcome may be perfect.  But, if the patient wasn’t aware of the risks, other treatment options, etc., (or can claim there was…

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Firing the Patient – When and How to Dismiss Problem Patients

Helping others is the nature of being a physician.  Seeing the positive and corrective results from treatment can be one of the most enjoyable aspects of medical practice.  And, the duty to treat is codified in law. Yet, the duty…

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