Artificial Intelligence; Conceptual Image

Artificial Intelligence, COVID-19, and the Future of Pandemics

June 28, 2021

Artificial intelligence (AI) has proven of value in the COVID-19 pandemic and shows promise for mitigating future healthcare crises. During the pandemic's first wave in New York, for example, Mount Sinai Health System used an algorithm to help identify patients ready for discharge. Such systems can help overburdened hospitals manage personnel and the flow of supplies in a medical crisis so they can continue to provide superior patient care.

Doctor's Company Artwork

Interstate Licensure for Telehealth Can Fuel Medical Practice Growth

February 24, 2021

When it comes to using telehealth to treat patients out of state, most physicians are mindful about licensure issues. But some are not aware that if you don't have a license to practice medicine in a given state, it isn't just malpractice: It's a criminal offense.

COVID-19 Precautions Masks; Conceptual Image

FAQs About COVID-19 Vaccinations

January 26, 2021

As healthcare providers prepare to distribute COVID-19 vaccines, many face questions regarding best practices for vaccine administration, as well as documentation. Answers to the frequently asked questions below will help your practice protect patients and staff while mitigating liability risks.

COVID-19 Flu Vaccine Shot; Conceptual Image

Communicating with COVID-19 Vaccine-Hesitant Patients: Top Tips

January 26, 2021

As the early phase of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout occurs across the United States, physicians should proactively prepare for the upcoming administration of vaccines to the general population. This includes implementing a plan to initiate effective informed consent conversations with patients to guide them to an informed decision about the vaccine.

COVID-19: A Call for Innovation and Leadership in Healthcare

January 6, 2021

Feature Article

Across the continuum of care during COVID-19 pandemic, what has changed is not so much the direction of healthcare evolution, but its speed. For the next decade, we will all be carried along on a jet stream of change.

Keep a COVID-19 Diary: Document Now in Case of Future Lawsuits

November 3, 2020

For months, physicians and practice managers have been in crisis mode due to COVID-19 and have faced daunting challenges daily. What the future holds relative to the evolution of COVID-19 remains unknown, but it is certain that litigation for COVID-related claims is on the horizon and will impact physicians in all medical specialties and practice models.

What Lessons Did We Learn from COVID-19?

September 8, 2020

Each year, The Doctors Company assembles healthcare leaders to discuss the most pressing issues affecting physicians, practices, and systems across the spectrum of care.

Informed Consent: Substance and Signature

August 10, 2020

For decades, consent documents have helped protect physicians against the claims of dissatisfied patients. Times have changed, however, and modern medicine requires a more complex and complete acknowledgment of both the patient's and the physician's rights and responsibilities to each other.

Top 10 Tips for Reopening Your Medical Office During COVID-19

April 30, 2020

As state and local governments determine that criteria have been met to implement Phase One of the federal Opening Up America Again Guidelines, medical offices will begin reopening—and will need to make modifications to keep patients and office staff safe.

Member Benefits

Response to The Doctors Company's Physician Survey on Opioid Use

November 7, 2019

On behalf of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), I would like to acknowledge The Doctors Company’s highlighting of the opioid epidemic and safe prescribing practices. The Doctors Company’s social media surveys of physicians, as well as national data, demonstrate that the medical community is responding to the message about safe prescribing and is exploring solutions.

Member Benefits

Advanced Practice Provider Closed Claims: What Can We Learn?

September 26, 2019

Feature Article

The Doctors Company analyzed 649 claims against two types of advanced practice providers (APPs): physician assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (NPs). The analysis revealed that the most common patient allegations in both PA and NP claims were related to diagnosis.

Conceptual Image

Terminating Patient Relationships

June 28, 2019

Just as it is an acceptable and reasonable practice to screen incoming patients, it is acceptable and reasonable to know when to end patient relationships that are no longer therapeutic. It is critical, however, to end the patient relationship in a manner that will not lead to claims of discrimination or abandonment.

Member Benefits

Is Your Patient a Victim of Human Trafficking?

May 1, 2019

Feature Article

Research shows that an overwhelming majority of victims of human trafficking see a medical or dental professional during captivity. Medical and dental providers and their staff should be trained to recognize the signs of human trafficking and know what steps to take.

Member Benefits

Wearable Medical Devices Give Abundant Data – and Risks

March 7, 2019

Feature Article

Since 2013, the number of U.S. consumers tracking their health data with wearables has doubled. And that number continues to rise: During the third quarter of 2018, the wearables market saw a nearly 60 percent increase in earnings over the prior year. Wearables bring promise, but also real risks for patient safety and physician liability.

Member Benefits

MACRA 2019 Changes Address Physician Concerns

February 4, 2019

Feature Article

Changes to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Quality Payment Program that went into effect on January 1, 2019, allow physicians to focus more on patients and less on redundant documentation. Kim Hathaway, MSN, CPHRM, healthcare quality patient safety and risk consultant with The Doctors Company, reviews the changes.

Bill Fleming

Survey: Doctors Conflicted but Patients Still Top Concern

January 2, 2019

Feature Article

Physicians are concerned about the quality of care they provide to patients—that is, after all, the reason they chose the profession. But physicians today report being so disappointed with the present state of medical practice. Bill Fleming, chief operating officer of The Doctors Company, discusses the results from The Future of Healthcare Survey and what they mean for physicians and the medical profession.

Member Benefits

Sexual Harassment Allegations in Healthcare: Rising Risks

July 3, 2018

Feature Article

When alleged sexual harassment is reported in the healthcare workplace, it affects many individuals in the practice. This article provides tips on how to protect physician practices from sexual harassment lawsuits.

Member Benefits

Physician Burnout: Perspectives, Stories, and Solutions

May 3, 2018

Feature Article

Growing administrative demands and distractions in our complex healthcare system conflict with how physicians want to provide care—contributing to alarming rates of physician burnout and potentially leading to more adverse events and compromising patient safety.

Member Benefits

Nurse Practitioner Closed Claims Study

April 9, 2018

Feature Article

The Doctors Company analyzed 67 claims against nurse practitioners that closed over a six-year period from January 2011 through December 2016. These claims arose in family medicine and internal medicine practices.

Member Benefits

Disaster Preparedness for Your Medical Practice

January 4, 2018

Feature Article

Recent fires, hurricanes, and floods nationwide have highlighted the importance of planning for disasters. Physicians are critical participants in disaster preparedness, ensuring that patient care and critical services are not interrupted—especially for at-risk individuals who may have special medical needs.

Member Benefits

The Quality Payment Program: What You Need to Know for 2018

December 13, 2017

Feature Article

Almost a year ago, Congress established the Quality Payment Program (QPP) under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). While designed to improve patient health outcomes, encourage practices to spend wisely, minimize the burden of practice participation, and be fair and transparent, the program has been difficult for many medical practices to implement. The government recently announced 2018 changes to this program. But don’t be dismayed. Many of these changes add flexibility and higher exemption requirements—welcome news to medical practices.

Member Benefits

Physicians Can Be at Risk When Homebound Patients Refuse Help

December 13, 2017

Feature Article

More than ever, physicians are focusing on treatment plans that include the kind of care patients need at home. However, physicians face potential liability when patients refuse help that is offered or neglect to follow up as instructed. If a patient sues, even a verdict in favor of the physician does not negate the time, expense, and emotional impact of a lawsuit. Consider this example: A 67-year-old male with a history of obesity, hypertension, hypercholesterol, atrial fibrillation, and cardiovascular disease had seen the same physician for 20 years. During one hospitalization, the patient was put on the blood thinner Coumadin. The physician and the discharge nurse both educated the patient and his wife about the risks of Coumadin use and the importance of having blood work done every month.

Member Benefits

EHR Closed Claims Study

November 8, 2017

Feature Article

The number of closed malpractice claims in which EHRs are a contributing factor increased continuously over the past 10 years. This study of EHR claims identifies the most common patient allegations and the specific factors contributing to patient injury.

Member Benefits

General Practitioners and Misdiagnosed Cardiovascular Disease

November 8, 2017

Feature Article

A study by The Doctors Company and CRICO Strategies found that a significant proportion of liability cases involving cardiovascular disease were due to errors of diagnosis and the real liability danger doesn't come from unusual or ambiguous cases, but from the relatively straightforward ones.

Member Benefits

Five Best Practices to Meet MACRA Requirements by the End of the Year

October 19, 2017

Feature Article

As the end of the third quarter of 2017 approaches, practices that have not yet developed their MACRA plan face great urgency to complete their plan—and those who have started may be feeling overwhelmed. Regardless of the reporting stage, these steps can help guide practices to succeed.

Member Benefits

Objective Review of Potential Risks in a Medical Practice Can be Beneficial

September 18, 2017

Feature Article

Ted Abernathy, MD, Managing Partner of Pediatric & Adolescent Health Partners, discusses his experience with The Doctors Company’s risk assessment service, which his practice used to improve communications and make better use of their electronic health records to reduce risks.

Member Benefits

Prescribing Opioids Safely

September 18, 2017

Feature Article

Opioids play an important role in pain management—both in acute and chronic settings. However, the dramatic increase in opioid use over the past few decades has resulted in a crisis of addiction and death. This article provides information on claims in which opioids resulted in patient harm and a summary of guidelines for prescribing opioids.

Member Benefits

Cyberattacks Threaten Patient Safety

July 31, 2017

Feature Article

When it comes to cybersecurity, more than money and IT security are at risk—patient safety is also compromised by a cyberattack.

Member Benefits

Take Note: How Medical Scribes Are Trained—And Used—Varies Widely

July 11, 2017

Feature Article

The widespread adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) has led to a number of unintended consequences—particularly a negative effect on doctor satisfaction and practice workflow. Medical practices have tried many different solutions to help alleviate the burden, and one of the most common solutions is the adoption of medical scribes.


Member Benefits

Cybersecurity Must Be Part of Every Healthcare Professional’s Job

July 11, 2017

Feature Article

On May 12, 2017, the world’s biggest ransomware attack nearly crippled Britain’s public health system and forced doctors to turn patients away. The WannaCry worm, which experts believe to have come from U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) hacking tools released by Wikileaks, spread quickly to companies and critical infrastructure worldwide. A White House homeland security adviser said that more than 300,000 computers across 150 countries were hit. One cyber risk modeling firm put the total economic damage at $8 billion. Since the attack occurred, security researchers have already identified a new strain of malware that could be much more dangerous.

Roneet Lev, MD

Prescribing Opioids Safely: How to Have Difficult Patient Conversations

May 12, 2017

Feature Article

Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S., and opioids account for over 60 percent of those deaths.1 While opioids are effective pain medications when used in the proper setting, concerns arise when the patient’s condition lasts longer than three months, and prescribing more medication does not necessarily result in better pain control.

Richard E. Anderson, MD, FACP

It’s Time to Reset the Medical Malpractice Insurance Conversation

May 12, 2017

Feature Video

In the mid-1970s, malpractice lawsuits and skyrocketing jury awards caused commercial insurance companies to raise physicians’ malpractice rates by as much as 400 percent. The practice of medicine was deemed to be “uninsurable.” Thousands of physicians faced cancellation of their policies. As a result, doctors came together to form their own companies to provide affordable and sustainable coverage. However, today’s physicians need more.

Member Benefits

Five Keys to Managing Online Criticism

April 3, 2017

Feature Video

No matter how professional and caring a doctor you may be, eventually you will face criticism on the web. Here are five keys to managing that criticism.

Member Benefits

Taking the Risks to Heart: Misdiagnosis of Heart Disease

February 20, 2017

Feature Article

Heart disease is the leading killer of women, responsible for one in every four female deaths, and this danger was highlighted by the tragic death of actress Carrie Fisher in late 2016. But almost two-thirds of women who die suddenly from heart disease had no previous symptoms.1 Diagnosis of an impending heart attack in a woman may be more difficult, as women often show different early signs and symptoms than men.

Member Benefits

Watch for the Signs: Screen All Patients for Suicidal Thoughts

December 16, 2016

Feature Article

Patients with suicidal thoughts or ideation appear occasionally in physician encounters. Any patient, no matter what issue is being treated and in any setting, could be at risk for suicide. A consistent and formal screening process, plus a response plan, will protect both the patient and the physician.

Member Benefits

Ransomware Attacks: HIPAA Burden Falls to the Hospital or Medical Practice

November 11, 2016

Feature Article

The bar has been raised on HIPAA and ransomware attacks. Under its recently released guidance, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) now presumes that a ransomware attack compromises electronic protected health information (ePHI)—unless the HIPAA-covered entity can prove otherwise.

Member Benefits

Digital Medicine Resource Center

November 11, 2016

Feature Article

The digitization of medicine is transforming the entire healthcare system. New technologies like mobile apps and wearables bring both benefits and risks, patient access to healthcare is evolving, EHRs have created new patient safety risks, and artificial intelligence is evolving to play a role in future patient care. How can doctors adapt to these massive changes?

Member Benefits

The Growing Threat of Counterfeit Drugs

November 11, 2016

Feature Article

The U.S. has one of the safest drug and medication supply systems in the world, in part due to careful regulation in the face of globalization and increasing threats to the supply chain. However, according to the FDA, there is a growing network of rogue wholesale drug distributors selling potentially unsafe drugs in the U.S. market.

Member Benefits

Undiagnosed Heart Disease in Women Poses Malpractice Risk

November 11, 2016

Feature Article

Differences in the early symptoms and signs of an impending heart attack in women may make diagnosis more difficult compared to men. In a study of closed medical malpractice claims involving undiagnosed heart disease in women from 2011 to 2015, The Doctors Company found that in 70 percent of claims the patient died when her heart condition was not correctly diagnosed and 28 percent had heart muscle damage from myocardial infarction.

Member Benefits

Communication Is Key to Improving Diabetic Patient Outcomes and Reducing Liability

November 11, 2016

Feature Article

It’s not uncommon for diabetic patients to file claims against their diabetes care team for failure to properly diagnose, supervise, monitor, and/or treat their disease. This article outlines ways physicians can have effective conversations with their patients to decrease malpractice risks.

Member Benefits

Cybersecurity: Mitigate Against Hacking and Data Breach Risks

November 11, 2016

Feature Article

Cybercrime costs the U.S. economy billions of dollars each year and causes organizations to devote substantial time and resources to keeping their information secure. This is even more important for healthcare organizations, the most frequently attacked form of business. The Doctors Company's expert resources, including free CME, videos, infographic, and cybersecurity report, can help protect healthcare organizations and physician practices from this emerging area of risk.

Member Benefits

Up in the Cloud: Is It Safe to Store PHI on Remote Servers?

November 11, 2016

Feature Article

Cloud storage is a convenient and cost-effective solution for medical practices and facilities, but precautions must be taken to ensure stored patient data is secure. This article has tips for choosing a cloud service provider.

Member Benefits

New Social Media Resource Center for Physicians

November 11, 2016

Feature Article

The web is a powerful tool for physicians. Establishing your online presence on social media allows you to engage with patients, grow your reputation, and make your voice heard. These resources can help you get started on social media and expand your online presence.

Member Benefits

The Doctors Company’s New Cardiology Closed Claims Study

November 11, 2016

Feature Article

This review of 429 cardiology claims identifies the most common patient allegations and the specific factors contributing to patient injury. All physicians should take note of this study because a variety of specialties tend to be named in these lawsuits.

Member Benefits

Eight Principles of an Effective Patient Safety Team

November 4, 2015

Feature Article

Risk Tip | Teamwork—an essential part of a safety culture—has come to the forefront as the most effective way of catching individual errors before they occur and of mitigating system failures. In the OR, for example, studies have shown that implementing team training is associated with a significant decrease in surgical mortality.1,2 The team approach is not new, but its value and definition are changing. Good communication, along with a focused team approach in dealing with problems, can make a positive difference in any outcome.

Member Benefits

Employing Advanced Practice Providers: Balancing Benefits and Potential Malpractice Risks

July 1, 2015

Feature Article

Risk Tip | Practices and hospitals that employ advanced practice providers (APPs), including nurse practitioners and physician assistants, can experience many benefits, such as lower operating overhead, increased physician time with patients, and improved patient education and satisfaction. However, employers of APPs should consider implementing effective risk management measures to help ensure that the benefits of using APPs are not at the expense of increased liability exposure.