Knowledge Library

Masks in the Medical Practice: Can Patients Refuse?

Public health officials and regulatory bodies have been clear that those working, visiting or being treated in a healthcare setting should wear face masks to reduce the spread of COVID-19. While face masks and their overall effectiveness have been questioned by some, wearing a cloth face covering has been shown to reduce the rates of COVID transmission in the population and may even reduce the severity of illness for those who are infected. For this reason, it is recommended that all healthcare providers require patients to wear face masks when they are receiving medical care. Unfortunately, some patients are unable...

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Reopening Medical Practices after COVID-19: What to Consider

Recent studies show that one in three Americans delayed medical care as they coped with the financial losses and stress caused by COVID-19. As stay-at-home restrictions loosen nationwide and the economy slowly begins to reawaken, health care providers are contemplating the reopening of their practices. To assist MIEC members as they prepare to provide care to their waiting patients, MIEC offers the following recommendations, based in part upon guidelines from federal, state, county, and medical specialty societies. See MIEC’s COVID-19 Resource Center for additional information. Before Reopening: There are several considerations that providers should explore to be prepared and ultimately...

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FAQs: COVID-19 Informed Consent

Q: Can I be sued if a patient contracts COVID-19 after coming in for an office visit? A: Yes, although plaintiffs may have a difficult time substantiating the origin of the infection given that the typical patient will have multiple opportunities for potential exposures. Medical practices should implement reasonable protocols to mitigate risk of infection to both patients and employees, such as those required by state and local public health officials and infection control guidelines put forth by the CDC and OSHA. Q.) Should I require my patients to sign a waiver absolving me of liability related to COVID-19? A.)...

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The Use of Advanced Practice Providers in a Medical Practice: Update 2020

Physicians work with advanced practice providers (APPs) in a variety of medical settings. Advanced practice providers include physician assistants (PAs), and four classifications of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs): nurse practitioners (NPs), certified nurse-midwives (CNMs), clinical nurse specialists (CNSs), and certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs). As the healthcare industry is experiencing an ever-increasing aging patient population, fewer physicians, is transitioning to value-based reimbursement, APPs are becoming vital to the success of team-based care. In this article we explore the qualifications of APPs, the benefits of employing APPs, as well as the impact they have on the role of physicians. Advanced...

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Practicing during a pandemic – Coronavirus/COVID-19

Since first emerging as a novel virus in December 2019, the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus outbreak has quickly enveloped the world and, as of March 11, 2020, it was declared by the World Health Organization to be a true pandemic. Currently, there are over 118,000 cases in 114 countries, with 4,291 fatalities. In the U.S., there are 1,215 cases in 43 states, with 36 associated fatalities- and those numbers are growing rapidly. A few of the issues that challenge the response to the coronavirus outbreak are the variability of symptoms and disease severity of COVID-19 in individuals, a shortage of viral test...

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