Facing disciplinary action from the medical board or government agency is one of the worst fears of physicians. Disciplinary action can affect your reputation, finances and sometimes your entire career. The worst penalty is losing your license. Sometimes even small mistakes can lead to serious consequences.
As a new physician, you must take action to reduce your chances of undergoing investigation. Continue reading to learn about common legal mistakes and how to avoid them.
1. Poor recordkeeping
You may not think much of your medical records. Many physicians write them in haste and forget about them. Your records should convey timely, complete and thoughtful documentation of your patient care. Improving your legibility and accuracy will help you stay afloat and avoid pitfalls.
2. Negligent medical practice
Negligence is one of the main sources of complaints and investigations. Such negligence may include failing to diagnose a condition and providing improper treatment. Patients may be more inclined to file a complaint that leads to an investigation if they do not have a good relationship with you. Make sure you establish and maintain good relationships with each of your patients, consistently showing your concern for their wellbeing and providing an excellent standard of care.
3. Improperly altering medical records
Once you write a note in a medical record for a patient, do not even think about revising it. While it may be possible to make minor clarifications, you should be careful each time you conduct an alteration. A misleading change of a medical record can lead to serious investigations. If you must make a change or clarification, make sure it is designated as an addendum with the date, time and your signature.
If you are mindful and strive for excellence, you can avoid health care fraud investigations. Do not underestimate the seriousness of disciplinary action against your practice. If you are facing complaints or investigations, make sure you consult a health care law attorney.