Discharging the Problem Patient

Posted By American Med Spa Association, Monday, March 9, 2015

Modern Aesthetics magazine recently ran this article by Michael J. Sacopulos, JD, founder and president of Medical Risk Institute (MRI) and general counsel for Medical Justice Services. Sacopulos and MRI are partners of AmSpa. To find out more about MRI, log on to www.americanmedspa.org.
Have you seen the GEICO Insurance ad where Kenny Rogers sings part of his famous song, “The Gambler?” Mr. Rogers, who is clearly no stranger to the world of aesthetic medicine, sings, “You have to know when to walk away and know when to run.” Sure, he is talking about playing cards, but the same holds true for treating certain patients.
Every cosmetic surgeon has a patient that he or she wishes they had never treated. Some are needy. Some are impossible to please. Others verbally abuse staff. Problems patients come in all shapes, sizes, and varieties of “difficulty,” but the effect is always the same. Physicians and staff dread interactions and worry that the patient is a liability.
Some doctors erroneously believe that they are essentially “stuck” with the tough patient. They’ve been warned against patient abandonment, and they believe that ending the patient relationship is even harder than dealing with the individual. In reality, ending the patient relationship is relatively straightforward. Below are strategies for complying with the law while avoiding ongoing problems for your practice.
Read more on Modern Aesthetics.