PICA Insights

Failure to Refer: What Could Go Wrong?

Apr 17, 2024 5:44:23 PM / by PICA Risk Management Expert

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When a doctor does not refer a patient to a specialist for additional care, further diagnostics, or for treatment that only another physician can provide, they may be considered liable for negative consequences if the patient suffers as a result.

When a doctor does not provide a referral in time or at all, the patient may suffer serious complications, including:

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Prescribing Opioids – Important Information for Practitioners

Apr 17, 2024 4:54:43 PM / by PICA Risk Management Expert posted in Risk Management, Compliance

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If you prescribe opioids in your practice, it is important to be familiar with current clinical practice guidelines for prescribing opioids, DEA requirements, and federal and state laws and regulations to reduce your professional and administrative liability risk. In this article we will discuss some of the guidelines, requirements, and regulations relating to prescribing opioids.

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Managing Patient Expectations Post-Surgery

Mar 12, 2024 4:08:15 PM / by PICA Risk Management Expert posted in Risk Management

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Over the years, there have been many lawsuits filed against physicians because the patient was not satisfied with a surgical outcome. It could have been a post-operative complication, delayed healing, prolonged pain, cosmetically undesirable result, or a host of other reasons. In the majority of these cases, the physician was found to have acted within the standard of care and the case was eventually dropped or in the event the case went to trial, the jury found in favor of the physician. In the meantime, a lot of time, effort, money, frustration, and stress was spent on claims in which the medicine was good.

So, Why Do These Patients Sue?
This quote by S. Jay Jayasanakar, MD is insightful, “The patient’s expectation, not ours, is the yardstick by which our patients measure the course of recovery, occurrence of complications, and the outcome.” If the patient’s expectations are not met, the patient is more apt to sue, regardless of whether malpractice occurred.

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PICA Supports Students, Residents, Fellows, and the Podiatry Profession at ACFAS

Feb 22, 2024 10:54:35 AM / by PICA Risk Management Expert

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ACFAS 2024 Wrapped: PICA Provides DEI Scholarships, Dr. Ross Taubman Receives the Kenison Award, and More! Read below to check out all the ways PICA participated in the ACFAS annual conference!

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2024 HIPAA Update for Podiatric Medical Physicians

Feb 16, 2024 4:09:38 PM / by PICA Risk Management Expert

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HIPAA changes that are expected to take place in 2024 include:

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Managing Patient Expectations Pre-Operatively

Feb 16, 2024 10:49:06 AM / by PICA Risk Management Expert posted in Risk Management

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Regardless of how long you've been practicing, you have undoubtedly come across a patient that has unrealistic expectations for surgery. This typically manifests in an unhappy post-operative patient. The patient may complain that their scar is too big, their recovery is taking too long, they are not able to return to work when they want, they cannot return to sports activities as quickly as they would like, they can’t wear stilettos, and the list goes on. And as we all know, an unhappy patient is more likely to file a lawsuit than a happy patient.

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Complications Resulting in Amputation – Reducing the Risk for You and Your Patients

Jan 11, 2024 2:14:40 PM / by PICA Risk Management Expert posted in Risk Management

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As you could probably surmise, amputations are a leading factor in malpractice suits against podiatrists. So, how do you reduce the risk that a complication will result in amputation? And if amputation is necessary, how can you reduce the risk of a lawsuit being filed?

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Communicating Unexpected Outcomes to Patients

Jan 11, 2024 2:02:36 PM / by PICA Risk Management Expert posted in Risk Management

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As a practitioner, you have most likely experienced an unexpected outcome in your care and treatment of a patient. It does not mean you are a bad physician. It happens even with the most experienced physician, but it can be very distressing for you and your patient. How can you protect yourself from risk and maintain a healthy physician-patient relationship in the event of an unexpected outcome?

Start at the Beginning
First, prepare your patients for the possibility of an unexpected outcome. At the beginning when you’re developing a treatment or surgical plan with your patient, discuss the risks and benefits of your plan, including the most likely complications or side effects. Include a discussion of any risk factors that the patient may have that might affect the success of your plan. For example, a patient would be more likely to experience post-operative complications if they are a smoker. With medically complex patients, discuss the treatment challenges and the fact that they may require treatment from a team of specialists/healthcare professionals.

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My Patient is Refusing Necessary Treatment, Now What?

Nov 7, 2023 5:50:32 PM / by PICA Risk Management Expert

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Start with Informed Consent
As a physician, you use your knowledge, experience, and medical judgment to determine the best course of treatment for your patient. However, adult patients with decision-making capacity have the right to choose or refuse to follow your treatment plan. When a patient refuses a necessary treatment, what can physicians do to protect themselves and their patients? 

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Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) New Training Requirements

Sep 6, 2023 12:12:44 PM / by PICA Risk Management Expert posted in Compliance

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The Medication Access and Training Expansion (MATE) Act was passed by Congress as part of the Omnibus Bill of 2022. The MATE Act mandates a new one-time, eight-hour training requirement on the treatment and management of patients with opioid or other substance use disorders for all Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)-registered practitioners (other than practitioners who are solely veterinarians) who prescribe schedule II, III, IV, or V drugs.

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