Do you provide medical care to your employees?

April 1, 2006

If so, you may be putting yourself in legal jeopardy. For example, you may be tempted to keep less-than-thorough documentation of the care you deliver?especially with the knowledge that other staff members may have access to this record. On the flip side, employees may not want to use your services because of confidentiality issues. Moreover, you must ensure that all employees are treated equally?writing off charges for your employees in the same way, regardless of how much time you must spend providing care.

If so, you may be putting yourself in legal jeopardy. For example, you may be tempted to keep less-than-thorough documentation of the care you deliver-especially with the knowledge that other staff members may have access to this record. On the flip side, employees may not want to use your services because of confidentiality issues. Moreover, you must ensure that all employees are treated equally-writing off charges for your employees in the same way, regardless of how much time you must spend providing care.

Physicians need to know that it is "a perfectly acceptable position" to decide not to provide care to staff, wrote Barbara Worsley, vice president of risk management for The SCPIE Cos., in Medical Liability Monitor (1/2006). However, if you decide to provide care, keep these risk-management tips in mind: