Liability Waivers for COVID-19: Put Stronger Safeguards in Place Now

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Liability Waivers for COVID-19: Put Stronger Safeguards in Place Now

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Liability waiver covid-19

QUESTION: Can we be sued if a patient thinks they got infected at our practice? Will a COVID-19 liability waiver protect us from patient lawsuits claiming they contracted the virus at our office?

Question from Austin, Texas subscriber

 

ANSWER: You are right to be anxious about the reality of being sued. More than 800+ COVID-19 lawsuits have been filed this year. However, to truly protect your physicians and practice, there are some stronger safeguards that you can implement that are better rather than blanket liability waivers for physician practices.

Historically, disease liability waivers have been legally ineffective. In fact, the blanket forms are considered unethical. Most importantly, they won’t prevent your physicians from confronting claims for gross negligence. Meaning, you could still face a costly lawsuit and expensive legal bills regardless of whether you are ultimately found responsible or not.

You can better protect your practice with robust consent policies and safety protocols. When coming to your office, patients should read and agree to your informed consent polices that should adequately advise patients of all risks for treatment. In your practice compliance plan, you should add your increased safety protocols. Maintain documentation of your ongoing disinfection activities that your practice conducts to ensure staff and patient safety.

For more actions you should take now to reduce your practice risk, healthcare attorney, Ike Devji, JD, can help. In the upcoming online training, “Take Action Now to Prevent Expected COVID-19 Lawsuits,” Ike will walk you through exactly how to protect your practice from upcoming COVID-19 liability with step-by-step, actionable strategies and tactics you can implement.


Related Resources to Protect Your Practice from COVID-19 Liability

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Meet Your Writer

Jen Godreau
CPC, CPMA, CPEDC, COPC, AHIMA ICD-10-CM/PCS Approved Trainer

Content Director

Jen Godreau, CPC, CPMA, CPEDC, COPC, AHIMA ICD-10-CM/PCS Approved Trainer is an expert in practice management, billing and coding, and revenue cycle management, and brings almost 20 years of experience to the content team at Training Leader. Prior to joining Training Leader, Jen led implementations of EMRs and revenue cycle management services including credentialing. She has led teams who have created numerous software programs and tools for compliance, coding, and auditing. Her passion for all things compliance and coding has filled thousands of articles and allowed her to provide practice management consulting and due diligence for hundreds of practices.

Jen's advocacy led to the overturning of neonatology supervision restrictions, creation of new CPT ENT codes, and winning of Medicare monitoring auditing contracts. She wrote the diagnosis study guide for AAPC's Certified Otolaryngology Coder (CENTC) exam and edited the AAPC Professional Medical Coding Curriculum.

Jen has a Bachelor of Arts from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio. She became a Certified Professional Coder (CPC) in 2001, added her designation as a Certified Pediatric Coder (CPEDC) in 2009, became a Certified Medical Coding Auditor (CPMA) in 2010, and a Certified Ophthalmology Professional Coder (COPC) in 2017. She is an AHIMA ICD-10-CM/PCS approved trainer.

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