Dr. Goldberg is Director of Skin Laser & Surgery Specialists of New York and New Jersey, Director of Mohs Surgery and laser research, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, and Adjunct Professor of Law, Fordham Law School.
In an ethical attempt to limit the numbered of required patient visits, Dr. Smith often will treat 20 to 30 solar keratoses in one visit. Dr. Smith has taken courses on proper coding and codes in a recognized, honest and ethical manner. Unfortunately, several of his carriers inform him that only 15 actinic keratoses can be treated at each visit, and only four such visits are allowed during a year for each patient.
A patient with complaints about Dr. Derm's medical assistant demanded a refund on his co-pay, then threatened to destroy the doctor's reputation online. The patient returned a week later with worsening cellulitis, Dr. Derm refused to see him. The patient later became septic and he filed a medical malpractice lawsuit. What did Dr. Derm do wrong?
A disgruntled employee went on Facebook and described a salary disagreement with his boss, Dr. Labor. Dr. Labor found out about this and promptly fired the employee for violating an office policy on not discussing office-related issues on social media. The now-former employee filed a lawsuit against him with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) alleging that his former boss violated his First Amendment rights.
Dermatologist Joe Psoriasis is known throughout the country as an expert in the treatment of psoriasis. An inherent risk of treating such challenging patients is the higher risk of medical malpractice lawsuits. Dr. Psoriasis has now had five such lawsuits filed against him. He is contemplating discontinuing this portion of his practice. Will the HEALTH Act of 2011 provide him with more protection from such lawsuits?
Dr. Skin hired several people to improve the marketing of his practice. In order to make things simple, he provided them with all of his patients' records to allow them easy access to patient demographic information. Dr. Skin is assured by colleagues that although the involved activity may represent a HIPAA violation, no penalties have been assessed to small practices such as his. Is this true?
Dr. Skin missed seeing a melanoma on his patient. It was present when he saw her two years ago; he just did not see it. The former patient sues Dr. Skin for negligence. The plaintiff's attorney offers to settle the case prior to going to court for $1 million dollars. Should Dr. Skin do so?
The estate of a deceased patient has sued Dr. Mole for not making a melanoma diagnosis earlier. The plaintiff's attorney has offered a settlement agreement for $1 million. He is concerned about the settlement being listed in the National Data Practitioner Data Bank. His attorney assures Dr. Mole that as this late point in his career this will do little to no impact on his reputation.
Dr. Laser, in an attempt to lower office fees, taught his nurses to use lasers for various problems such as hair removal, facial toning and acne treatment. He sent his staff to many training courses and established rigid in-office guidelines for laser treatments. Unfortunately, a patient treated by a laser nurse now has a scar on her upper lip, and she filed a complaint against the nurse and Dr. Laser with the state board of nursing.
Medical ethicists have long forewarned that the independent judgment of physicians can be compromised by private interests if left unchecked. To do so would risk interfering with the ethical obligation that a physician owes his or her patient: to provide objective and unbiased advice and treatment. Such private interests may take several forms.
After treatment with botulinum toxin, a patient went into anaphylactic shock and suffered permanent renal damage. The patient sued the drug manufacturer but not the physician. The manufacturer said responsibility lays with the physician because of the learned intermediary doctrine. What is the learned intermediary doctrine? Is the doctor liable?