Clinical Integration and Medical Liability

July 6, 2017
OROS Risk Solutions, LLC
Comments Off on Clinical Integration and Medical Liability

When Medical Professionals Collaborate Every Wins

Major legislative changes involving Florida medical malpractice insurance and the American healthcare system could potential rewrite the method through which physicians, hospitals, and patients correlate. Some groups are pushing to reduce the exorbitantly high costs of medical care and reduce the financially devastating impact of medical malpractice lawsuits by encouraging an incentive model for clinical integration. By bundling payments and provided patients with care across a collaborative spectrum of clinics, the hope is to provide better and more effective care at a reduced cost. For this dream to come to fruition medical providers will have to agree to a program of clinical integration, meaning that various aspects of patient care will coordinate across services. Fields such as preventative care, hospital care, palliative care, rehabilitation, and would work together as a chain of interdependent services to create a system of overall health and wellness for the patient.    

Supporters of clinical integration claim that such legislative changes would:

  • Reduce the risk of adverse medical outcomes,
  • Improve the overall health of patients nationwide 
  • Improve the overall patient experience
  • Reduce the surmounting costs of healthcare
  • Reduce the costs of medical malpractice insurance in Florida and other states

Incentives for Coordinated Care

Under the Affordable Care Act, medical providers successful in clinical integration enjoy government back incentives for the costs effectiveness and efficiency of their collaborative programs. In addition to the value and rewards brought on with a thriving clinical integration, many providers of Florida medical malpractice insurance offer lower premiums to physicians who operate under coordinated care. The general belief that structured and organize care across multiple facilities and clinics will reduce the risk of inadequate care and errors that can result malpractice is the hope of those pursuing such changes. Ongoing studies, however, have been varied and arguably inconclusive.

But is Liability Still an Issue?

Collaborative changes could result in unforeseen changes for medical malpractice insurance in Florida. Effective clinical integration will require a system of up-to-date and consistent patient data documentation that health providers across a large spectrum will be able to access and revise. The increased reliance on Electronic Health Records (EHR) is a source of controversy for many involved, with no consistent data to reflect the impact of physicians, patients, or malpractice insurance in Florida. The paramount concern is that such a heavy demand for accurate data collection can result in physician burnout and inaccurate record keeping that actually increases liability risk.

The goal of collaborative data collection and sharing contains a number of well-intentioned benefits:

  • Physicians can reduce redundancy and save time and stress of patients
  • Vital signs and lab results can be automatically saved and stored
  • Commonly overlooked details and gaps in treatment can be more easily prevented
  • Medical team interventions can be made more readily available

However, these benefits for Florida medical malpractice insurance, medical providers and patients will only exist if the large data entry is completely unflawed. Physicians that copy and paste information or simply mistype a single detail while struggling with the immense responsibility of data can quickly worsen a patient’s condition with a single keystroke. The pros and cons towards medical liability risks and doctor/patient well-being are still being largely debated.