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Healthcare Risk Management – December 1, 2022

December 1, 2022

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  • Not a Simple Conversation: Understand Depositions and How to Prepare

    It is likely any healthcare litigation will include depositions in which clinicians and administrators are asked questions under oath. The information provided can be critical to the outcome of the case. Depositions can be stressful and difficult for people not accustomed to them. Risk managers can help by preparing participants for this experience.

  • Improve Documentation for Compliance, Med/Mal Defense

    Good documentation is the foundation of any solid malpractice defense and proper continuity of care argument, so risk managers constantly urge clinicians to make meticulous notes. But there are many ways in which documentation can fall short. Frequent education and adjustment to technological changes can be key to making good documentation.

  • Physicians Sometimes Need Help to Improve Documentation

    Good charts and proper documentation take time, but technology and scribes can speed the process and improve the quality of documentation.

  • Remember the Basics of Good Documentation

    Proper documentation requires adhering to the basic goals of fully and accurately recording the patient encounter. Depending on the circumstances, chart notes should include a brief social narrative of relevant historical data, an explanation of the reason for the encounter, subjective complaints and observations reported by the patient, objective findings on physical examination by the clinicians, a diagnosis, treatment plan, and follow-up instructions for post-discharge care.

  • Reduce Workers’ Comp Liability with Lift Policies, Technology

    Workers’ compensation poses a significant liability risk and expense for any company — and healthcare employers face exposures unique to their industry. Technological solutions may help. Overexertion, often due to patient handling, is a common injury for healthcare employees, leading to sprains and strains of the back or shoulder.

  • Provide Frequent HIPAA Training with Real-World Scenarios

    Training employees in HIPAA compliance should be frequent and include realistic situations, including scenarios in which they may unknowingly facilitate a breach.

  • Former NFL Running Back Awarded $28.5 Million in Medical Malpractice Case

    In this matter, the principal issue related to the physician’s failure to evaluate, diagnose, and treat the patient’s talus bone and cartilage condition. The plaintiff argued the physician delayed and/or misdiagnosed his condition and provided improper treatment, resulting in permanent damage. Unfortunately, misdiagnosis and delay in diagnosis of orthopedic conditions are common forms of medical malpractice.

  • Gastric Bypass Malpractice Yields $14.1 Million Verdict

    There are two principal ramifications arising from this decision. First, in a case involving medical malpractice, a common-law cause of action, the Open Courts Provision does not supersede statutory restrictions on recovery of economic damages via Chapter 33. Second, the decision allows for settlement credits to be applied for settlement of derivative claims, even if the non-settling plaintiff does not have a cause of action for the same derivative claim.

  • Big Penalties for Right to Access Initiative

    The Office for Civil Rights HIPAA Right of Access initiative recently led to the resolution of 11 cases at a cost of $626,000, emphasizing the risk of failing to comply with this requirement.

  • Proper Disposal of PHI Required, Often Overlooked

    The Office for Civil Rights announced a settlement with a Massachusetts dermatology clinic regarding the improper disposal of PHI, which serves as a reminder HIPAA compliance is not only about protecting data from hackers. Covered entities also are responsible for disposing of PHI appropriately.

  • Online Collaboration Platforms Create HIPAA Exposures

    Business communications are rapidly and dramatically moving from email to various collaboration platforms like Slack, Workplace by Meta, and Microsoft Teams. PHI can easily end up stored as part of collaboration data — a relatively new data set that is uniquely different from other electronic channels because of its fragmented and nuanced nature.