Webinar on Demand - Curbside Consults and Referrals: Understanding Your Liability Risk

Webinar on Demand - Curbside Consults and Referrals: Understanding Your Liability Risk

Webinar On Demand
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Online Course | Specialties: Family Medicine, Hospitalist, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics
Released: 12/17/2020
Expires: 12/16/2022
Max Credits: 1.0
Continue to Course Read Abstract

A. Bernard Guekguezian
Adler, Cohen, Harvey, Wakeman and Guekguezian, LLP
Boston, MA
Activity Planners
Amy Burdette, PhD
Manager, Educational Strategy and Content
Baltimore, MD

Kathryn Schaefer, MSN, RN, CPHRM
Associate Director, Education Quality and Compliance
East Lansing, MI

Learning Objectives
Upon completion, participants should be able to:

  • Compare and contrast formal and informal consultations.
  • Describe what creates a physician-patient relationship.
  • Discuss various clinical scenarios for an informal consultation that present a liability risk.
  • Implement strategies to reduce the legal risk associated with informal consultations.

Target Audience
This webinar is intended for physicians, nurses, risk managers, quality managers, patient safety officers, performance improvement staff members, administrators, pharmacists, legal counsel, front-line staff members, and any other interested parties.
Statement of Need
Given the collaborative and multidisciplinary nature of medicine, providing or receiving a curbside consult or having an informal conversation with colleagues about the medical management of patients is common in the healthcare industry to provide better quality care. However, curbside consults often lack the same clinical detail as a formal consult, and without the full clinical picture, the consulted clinician’s advice may be inaccurate. Many legal decisions address curbside consultations. Under specific conditions, providing advice or information can create liability, even though the consulted clinician never met or personally examined the patient who was affected. Therefore, clinicians need to understand important information and clinical scenarios that differentiate a no-liability curbside consult and one that has the potential for liability.

Providership Statement
Provided by Med-IQ, a Coverys company.
Accreditation/Designation Statements
Med-IQ is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Med-IQ designates this enduring activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Med-IQ is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

This nursing activity has been approved for up to 1.0 contact hour.

Other healthcare professionals who successfully complete the activity will receive a Statement of Participation indicating the maximum credits available.

Instructions to Receive Credit
To receive credit, review the introductory CME/CNE material, watch the webinar, and complete the evaluation.

Initial Release Date: 12/17/2020
Expiration Date: 12/16/2022
Estimated Time to Complete This Activity: 60 minutes

Disclosure Policy
Med-IQ requires any person in a position to control the content of an educational activity to disclose all relevant financial relationships with any commercial interest. The ACCME defines “relevant financial relationships” as those in any amount occurring within the past 12 months, including those of a spouse/life partner, that could create a conflict of interest (COI). Individuals who refuse to disclose will not be permitted to contribute to this CME activity in any way. Med-IQ has policies in place that will identify and resolve COIs prior to this educational activity. Med-IQ also requires faculty to disclose discussions of investigational products or unlabeled/unapproved uses of drugs or devices regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration.

Disclosure Statement
The content of this activity has been approved for compliance. The faculty and contributors have indicated the following financial relationships, which have been resolved through an established COI resolution process, and have stated that these reported relationships will not have any impact on their ability to give an unbiased presentation.

A. Bernard Guekguezian has indicated that his spouse is Executive Director at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge, MA.

The reviewers and other activity planners have no financial relationships to disclose.
Statement of Evidence-Based Content
Educational activities that assist physicians in carrying out their professional responsibilities more effectively and efficiently are consistent with the ACCME definition of continuing medical education (CME). As an ACCME-accredited provider of CME, it is the policy of Med-IQ to review and ensure that all the content and any recommendations, treatments, and manners of practicing medicine in CME activities are scientifically based, valid, and relevant to the practice of medicine. Med-IQ is responsible for validating the content of the CME activities it provides. Specifically, (1) all recommendations addressing the medical care of patients must be based on evidence that is scientifically sound and recognized as such within the profession; (2) all scientific research referred to, reported, or used in CME in support or justification of a patient care recommendation must conform to generally accepted standards of experimental design, data collection, and analysis.
Med-IQ is not liable for any decision made or action taken in reliance upon the information provided through this activity.
Contact Information
For questions or comments about this activity, please contact Med-IQ. Call (toll-free) 866.858.7434 or email

For assistance with connecting to the webinar, please call 800.313.5888, and choose option 7.

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The information provided through this activity is for educational purposes only. This information is intended to provide general guidelines for risk management. It is not intended and should not be construed as legal or medical advice.

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Here are the key takeaways from this activity. Deeper insights and evidence, plus an opportunity to receive credit, are available at the continue button below.

  • A curbside consult is the informal solicitation of medical advice regarding a specific patient’s medical condition, care, or treatment without the consultant actually seeing the patient.
  • In a formal consultation, the consulting physician provides medical guidance but does not treat the patient.
  • Although curbside consults can improve the quality of care provided, giving an opinion without having all of the facts potentially jeopardies the safety of the patient and places the involved physician at risk for a medical malpractice claim.
  • When determining whether a curbside or formal consult took place, the court will look to several factors, including whether a physician/patient relationship was established.
  • To reduce the legal risks associated with curbside consults, keep the information general and simple, do not review medical records or patient-specific studies, do not bill for the consult, do not discuss matters outside of your field of expertise, confirm that your name will not be documented in medical records without your permission, and ensure that the physician requesting the information understands that your feedback is not a diagnosis or treatment recommendation.
  • For complex medical situations, controversial care or treatment, or when an examination of the patient is needed, decline the curbside consult and consider offering a formal consult instead.

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Unless otherwise indicated, photographed subjects who appear within the content of this activity or on artwork associated with this activity are models; they are not actual patients or doctors.

The information provided through this activity is for continuing education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient’s medical condition.

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