What a medical provider should do when a patient threatens to sue

When medical providers are threatened with lawsuits, they can take important steps to protect their best interests. The following is intended to serve as a summary of best practices for physicians who have been threatened with a medical malpractice lawsuit.

It is not uncommon for physicians to be sued for liability. Indeed, according to “Policy Research Perspectives – Medical Liability Claim Frequency Among US Physicians” from the American Medical Association (2017), more than a third of all physicians have been sued at some point in their career. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the way healthcare providers practice medicine. The prevalence of telehealth services, which has increased dramatically during the pandemic, brings new concerns about privacy, security and confidentiality. Additionally, communicating with a patient via videoconference may lead to difficulties in diagnosing a patient’s condition due to the inability to physically examine the patient. Lindsay LoweThe Rise of Telehealth Reveals Medical Malpractice Issues,” Bloomberg Law (September 29, 2020). According to a recent analysis, of all telemedicine-related claims made during a four-year period before the pandemic, two-thirds of those claims were related to diagnostic issues. ID.