What you don’t do to head off malpractice claims can be as critical as what you do
By: Jeffrey Segal, MD, JD, FACS
Nothing’s worse than having the first appointment of your day interrupted by an unpleasant surprise. Instead of the child who is running a fever or the father who’s concerned about his blood pressure, you are faced with a sheriff serving a summons. Instead of helping a patient learn what she can do to feel better, you are scrambling for ways to make yourself feel better. Not good.
In 2007 alone, nearly 11,500 malpractice claims were paid in the United States, and the average cost of defending a claim today—win or lose—hovers around $30,000, according to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. But preventive care in the legal world works much the same way as in medicine. Try adopting some common-sense methods, an “eat-right-and-don’t-smoke” model of addressing the legal system. This will keep lawyers out of your office and out of your life.