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Newsletters - PPN

Newsletters

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March 2021 Newsletter

Personal injury lawyers spend heavily to solicit COVID-19 claims Television advertisement spending in the latter half of 2020 highlights just how aggressively personal injury lawyers are soliciting COVID-19 liability claims and plaintiffs. In a report compiled by the American Tort Reform Association, 176,053 television advertisements that sought to solicit claims by mentioning COVID-19 or coronavirus aired from March through December 2020, at an estimated cost of $34.4 million. Several law firms increased their advertising after receiving federal Paycheck Protection Program loans. These federal dollars were intended to help struggling businesses cover operating expenses but were used by law firms to increase their advertising spending and recruit potential plaintiffs for future litigation. During this period, Florida accounted for nearly 20% of all legal services’ advertisements mentioning COVID-19 or coronavirus that aired, with a total of 34,321 ads adding up to over $6.6 million. “The data shows just how important it is for state legislatures to seek legislative solutions to support health care providers, businesses, and their employees who have been on the frontlines, responding to the pandemic,” the report states. To read more about the tactics personal injury lawyers are using to engage in soliciting liability lawsuits that harm patients and…

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2

February 2021 Newsletter

Preventing pandemic liability risks Already a worry for physicians and health care providers, the COVID-19 pandemic has compounded liability risks – and the effects remain to be seen. An interview with David Feldman, MD, chief medical officer of The Doctors Company, in Medical Economics highlighted the liability issues stemming from COVID-19 and how practitioners can protect themselves from lawsuits. Dr. Feldman highlighted the main liability risk to physicians during the pandemic: misdiagnosis. “…Clinicians are stressed, patients are anxious, and testing is difficult,” he answered. “All of that just makes it even harder for clinicians to be sure they’re making the right diagnosis.” He focused on preventative steps, and the importance of prevailing in a liability lawsuit through extensive documentation. As many patients hit the pause button on preventative care, Dr. Feldman discussed how physicians should protect themselves when working with patients who may be passing on annual screenings. “It’s just writing down in your chart what the communication has been with your patients to let them know they really need to come in and get their preventative testing done,” he explained. “It’s really documenting everything. You want to be able to look in the chart and see that you did…

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3

January 2021 Newsletter

Likelihood of liability lawsuits in the age of COVID-19 Nearly a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, liability protections for health care providers remain unresolved at the federal level. Health care and business groups, including the HCLA and its member organizations, have strongly pushed for legislation at the federal level that offers a uniform level of protection for front-line pandemic providers. With the threat of liability lawsuits still looming on the horizon, it is incumbent for Congress to act to provide uniform COVID-19 protections to all of our health care professionals and facilities. The HCLA is pushing ahead in its advocacy efforts in this regard. “We’re continuing to lobby for liability protections, but it will be difficult,” said Mike Stinson, vice president for government relations at the Medical Professional Liability Association and Chair of the HCLA, in an interview with Medscape. The fear of many is that the lawsuits will begin as the height of the pandemic subsides and the efforts of health care heroes become somewhat of a distant memory. Likely to contribute to allegations against providers is the fact that families had limited communications with hospitalized patients and their physicians due to COVID-19 infection control efforts. Some states have…

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