Using Risk Management and Asset Protection To Reduce Malpractice Exposure

Posted By American Med Spa Association, Friday, June 16, 2017

All physicians and medspa owners, at one time or another, have worried about malpractice liability.  Physicians would be wise to acknowledge the potential liability they face and take proper steps to protect against it. This short article will lay out a few of the strategies for doing so.
1. Risk Management
The first and most obvious strategy to protect against malpractice liability is to reduce risk and practice the best medicine possible.  This begins with a dedication to being the best physician you can be and maintaining your ongoing knowledge through education and CME.

Beyond this medicine-centered approach, physicians would be well-served to incorporate non-specialty specific risk management techniques in their practice.  These include learning how best to communicate with patients, especially when dealing with difficult patients or bad outcomes.  This also includes how to handle protected health information (PHI) and even managing risks of communication technology, from blogs and websites, to texting and email.  Many of these techniques are covered in the latest seventh edition of our CME monograph, Risk Management for the Practicing Physician, nationally certified for up to 5.0 hours of Category I CME credit. (You can get a free hardcopy or ebook in the special offer following this article.)
2. Asset Protection
Regardless of how carefully one practices, mistakes will occur.  Moreover, sometimes bad outcomes will occur even when all best practices were followed – and occasionally bad outcomes can lead to potential liability even if the physician believe he or she “did nothing wrong.” Given this, many dermatologists have chosen to buttress their practice risk management with asset protection planning.

Asset protection planning has a simple goal: to position a client’s assets in such a way that makes it difficult, and in certain cases nearly impossible, for a potential future lawsuit plaintiff to have access to them.

If the goal for a physician is to feel more secure and sleep better at night knowing that they will not lose what they have worked hard to build – then asset protection planning is an important part of the solution.