Legal Eagle

Is this a HIPAA Violation?Two years ago, Dr. Beauty hired several independent contractors on an hourly basis to improve the marketing of his practice. In order to provide them easy patient demographic accessibility, he provided them full access to his patients’ electronic medical records. One patient became aware and filed a HIPAA complaint. Dr. Beauty feels that although the involved activity may represent HIPAA violations, no penalties have been assessed to small practices such as his. Is this true?
I prescribe drugs off-label. Am I in violation of FDA regulationsIn a CME session through your local dermatology society, a prominent drug company provides journal articles documenting the off-label use of one of their prescription pharmaceutical agents. You obtain CME credits, read the journal article and begin prescribing the off-label medication. Is the drug company in violation of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rulings? Are your actions acceptable?
My EMR has been hacked. What should I do?Dr. Derm logged into his office computer system, only to find a ransom note from a hacker, asking for money in exchange for the safe return of his patients’ records. Who are these hackers? How do they gain access? What should Dr. Derm do?
My patient is threatening me. What can I do?Dr. Nice performed a series of IPL procedures on a male patient for facial redness. With each subsequent treatment, the patient became increasingly unhappy and belligerent. The patient demanded a refund saying Dr. Nice's family and staff would regret it if one was not provided. What can he do?
Creative marketing or deceptive advertising?Dr. Ad employs a variety of advertising methods to grow his practice. Two years ago, he ran an ad that said prolonged use of his $1,000/tube facial cream would negate a need for a facelift. Now he is facing a complaint by a patient who bought 20 tubes and saw no improvement over the course of a year. Dr. Ad claims that his marketing was harmless and no different than most other ads. Is he in trouble?
I prescribe compounded medications. Can I be sued?Dr. Skin has a large dermatology practice and treats a variety of medical and cosmetic conditions. He has studied and lectured extensively on the topic of rosacea. He understands much of the pathophysiology of rosacea. He begins to use a copycat version of a compounded topical, which he has been able to get at a discounted rate. Unfortunately several patients have severe reactions, and he is soon the recipient of multiple medical malpractice lawsuits. Has he done anything wrong?
Can a mistake lead to medical license revocation?Dr. Mistake was a well-respected dermatologist who was liked by both his patients and his peers. It was a well-known fact that he had been through a difficult divorce, which he openly discussed with patients and peers. During one exam, a regular patient was certain that she was touched inappropriately. Dr. Mistake admitted that he had been inappropriate, apologized, and asked her to recognize the difficulties that his failed marriage had presented to him. Can he lose his medical license?
Melanoma and the wrong siteWrong-site surgeries are preventable. In this article, Dr. Goldberg outlines a few measures.
Medspa management invite: Revenue boost or bust?Dr. Poor is invited to oversee the aestheticians and electrologists of a new MedSpa and feels fortunate, as his revenues have been declining. However, investing, owning, or operating a medspa still means being aware of certain regulations.
Am I liable for a glitch in my EHR system?Although the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009 authorized initial grants and incentives to promote “meaningful use” of electronic health records (EHRs) by providers, one of the potential risks that has not been given much discussion is the risk of medical malpractice liability.