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‘Candor’ program meant to increase transparency after provider mistakes


Here’s  a Bloomberg look at a new program  called Communication and Optimal Resolution, or Candor, being promoted by  the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). It’s meant to save hospitals money on malpractice lawsuits while encouraging more rigorous scrutiny of what went wrong and to help patients, families and clinicians cope with traumatic events.

Bloomberg reports: “Hospitals are supposed to complete the investigation within about two months and share the findings with the patients. At that time, they’ll discuss how to prevent future incidents. If the inquiry determines the harm resulted from a breach in the standard of care, something a lawyer might call negligence, the hospital and patient will negotiate financial compensation.”


As thius

As this Bloomberg article explains it: “Under Candor, when a case involving patient harm is identified, trained hospital staff tell victims or their families what happened within one hour. At the same time, they reach out to caregivers. The hospital stays in touch with patients and relatives as the event is investigated and interviews them about what happened. It also pauses its billing process so injured patients or grieving families aren’t dealing with the cost of care received, an emotionally fraught experience when that ‘care’ injured or killed a loved one.”

‘Choosing Wisely’ may not win some malpractice suits


18th Century Statute of Lady Justice, at Castellania,  Italy. Her sword signifies the coercive power of a court,  her scales represent an objective standard by which competing claims are weighed, and her blindfold indicates that justice should be impartial and meted out objectively without fear or favor.

William Sullivan, D.O., and also a lawyer, discusses why “Choosing Wisely” won’t necessarily protect providers from malpractice suits.

He concludes:

“{Treatment} guidelines are created for many purposes. The intent of a guideline significantly affects whether the guideline will protect a physician against medical malpractice risk. Guidelines relating to payment issues should not be used for clinical or medicolegal purposes without strong clinical research supporting their conclusions. While clinical practice guidelines may be useful for both clinical and medicolegal purposes, the recommendations should be compared with current medical literature to determine whether the guidelines constitute appropriate medical care.

“Statutory guidelines and safe harbors significantly reduce a practitioner’s malpractice risk and also provide a strong deterrent to frivolous lawsuits. However, the decreased risk must be weighed against the inference of negligence that occurs if a statutory guideline is not followed, and against the potential transition of medical practice from a healing art to an exercise in checking all of the appropriate boxes to avoid liability.”

10 looming malpractice threats


Physicians are far less likely to be sued  now than they were a decade ago but  new legal  dragons loom on the horizon.

Here are  10 0f them and what providers can do the protect themselves. Here’s one: Accountable Care Organizations may heighten providers’ exposure.

4 very troubling aspects of MGH surgery double-booking

John Mandrola, M.D., writes about The Boston Globe’s investigation of double-booking of lucrative surgeries by star surgeons at Massachusetts General Hospital, which has resulted in malpractice cases.

He says four aspects of this story stand out: hubris, greed, transparency and patient consent and the “near impossibility of questioning authority in mainstream medicine.”



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