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A Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physician is presented with a middle aged woman experiencing pain as the result of an auto accident. The PMR physician treats the patient with three epidural injections, MRI of the brain and a nerve conduction study. Although some relief was experienced the patient still required physical therapy. Subsequently a malpractice insurance claim was filed against the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physician for alleged misdiagnosis.
It happens frequently. A Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physician takes the proper measures to care for a patient. And yet a claim is still filed. Fortunately, Medical Malpractice Insurance for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation can be comprehensive and affordable. And while it is imperative to have a all-inclusive policy in place, there are also steps the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physician can take to minimize the risk of claims.
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation involves managing medical conditions that affect a patient's daily ability to function and perform at full potential. A treatment plan is based on maximizing function through the collective implementation of physical modalities, physical training with therapeutic exercise, medication, movement and activities modification, adaptive equipment and assistive devices, orthotics, prosthetics, and experiential training approaches. Implementing these guidelines can go a long way towards protecting your Physical Medical and Rehabilitation practice.
The patient, family members and support network must know all about the patient's rehabilitation plan and expected optimal timelines. The Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physician should provide clear instructions that are in everyday, easy-to-understand language. The information and instructions for care should be presented by credentialed staff and reviewed with the patient and family. The Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physician should clearly document the file with information pertaining to diagnosis and immediate care, ongoing treatment and notations about questions and answers that were discussed.
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physicians must ensure that patients who have undergone rehabilitation in the form of a series of physical therapy, occupational therapy, and rehabilitation treatment modalities are not to be discharged until they have been seen and evaluated by their physician. The file should be sure to document the patient's achievement of optimal recovery, requirements for ongoing therapy and appointments, and the patient's response to rehabilitation and recovery. The Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physician is strongly encouraged to a have written policy in place for handling patients who are noncompliant with the rehabilitation plan for treatment.
For treatment involving durable medical equipment (DME) the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physician will want to ensure that the medical record documentation includes the following: description of DME including manufacturer, serial number, lot number, make and model, as well as the medical reason for using DME, the desired goal for recovery and healing or improvement (short, long, or permanent use), and visits for follow up assessment, education and progress and outcomes.
Written DME policies should include regulatory compliance and accreditation, management of inventory, protocol catered to complaint resolution, patient agreements and consents, product failure reporting documents, and recall management.
It cannot be stated enough, it is essential for the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physician to have a sound medical malpractice insurance policy in place.
For more information regarding medical malpractice insurance for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation therapy we invite you to contact us. Or simply fill out a form to receive a personalized Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Professional Liability/Medical Malpractice Insurance quotation.