Take this short quiz to assess the extent of your potential malpractice liability regarding counseling clients and patients about use of complementary, alternative, and integrative medical therapies.
Whether you are a physician or allied health provider (e.g., nurse, psychologist, physical therapist), hospital administrator or executive, or CAM provider (chiropractor, acupuncturist, massage therapist, energy healer, homeopath, other), the questions below can help you assess how much you may be at risk for a malpractice liability lawsuit.
Complementary, Alternative, Integrative Medicine —
Potential Malpractice Liability Quiz
1. Does your practice or organization offer therapies that currently have limited evidence in the medical literature of safety and/or efficacy?
2. Are you neglecting to ask patients during the medical or clinical history about their current use of dietary supplements? Are you recommending or selling supplements within your office or organization?
3. Do you lack a robust informed consent process (dialogue and decision-making) and/or appropriate informed consent and waiver forms?
4. If you are sharing space or resources with other clinicians (e.g., physicians, chiropractors, acupuncturists, massage therapists) in an integrative care or holistic wellness clinic, or simply referring patients to them, are you receiving payments from them, either in the form of rent or otherwise, that are based in part on the number of patients they are visiting?
5. Have you neglected a current review of the claims on your website, in your patient brochures, on your product labels, and in your patient encounters, to ensure that they are consistent with federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines?
Score: 1 point for a “yes” answer to Questions 1 and 3; 2 points for a “yes” answer to Question 2, 4 and 5.
If your total score is:
1-2: Malpractice liability risk may be higher than expected; take reasonable steps to reduce risks.
3-7: Strong possibility of adverse legal action increases the more one leaves oneself unprotected in a hazardous environment. Proceed cautiously and seek counsel to close off arenas of unnecessary liability risk.
8-10: Urgent action may be advisable, as some areas of risk may trigger legal consequences.
If your score is higher than expected, or if you answered “yes” to one or more of the questions, you might benefit from information about existing legal pitfalls and protections. Fill in “Post a Comment/Question” below and type “send report” to subscribe to our free Complementary and Alternative Medicine Law Blog and receive our FREE REPORT explaining sources of risk and offering 5 FREE LIABILITY RISK MANAGEMENT TOOLS.
You can also find detailed information in our book, Legal Issues in Alternative Medicine.
Or, call us for a consultation.