W&B COVID-19 Update: How Do You Obtain Informed Consent for an Office Visit?

Patients are coming back to the office. The Maryland Department of Health and the CDC have defined and declared criteria to make these in-person visits as safe as possible. But what else can you do to protect yourself from future litigation during this global health crisis?

We recommend having patients sign a separate COVID-19 Informed Consent Form acknowledging the risks of an in-person visit. After all, you can be fully compliant and as careful as possible, but no one can guarantee a no-transmission visit. Consider something like this for your patients to sign:

COVID-19 is an infectious virus that currently has no direct treatment and for which there is no current vaccine. While we have taken reasonable steps to limit the potential for transmission of COVID-19 in our office, you understand transmission of COVID-19 is still possible.

You understand our office offers a HIPAA compliant telemedicine option. However, your care and/or your preference requires an in-person visit with our staff and healthcare providers. Our staff and healthcare providers may be within 6 feet of you and may touch you and your personal objects. You understand that person-to-person contact may increase the chance of COVID-19 transmission. It may be necessary that you quarantine and/or take other steps in the event it is determined that you may have been exposed to COVID-19.

You further understand that recommendations and guidelines regarding COVID-19 are subject to modification.

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During this crisis, Waranch & Brown has been preparing for the defense of COVID-19 cases on behalf of our clients. We are collecting and updating guidelines and protocols and assembling a first-rate team of medical experts, ethicists, epidemiologists and virologists. And we are studying the research and relevant materials to take full advantage of any immunities or good faith protection for our healthcare providers.

Waranch & Brown has been on the forefront of the defense of healthcare providers for over 20 years. Through COVID-19, and all its repercussions, we will stay by your side.

We hope you find this helpful. If we can assist or advise in any way, please feel free to contact our COVID-19 team leader John T. Sly, Esq., or any member of the firm.

John T. Sly

John T. Sly

John T. Sly is a trial attorney and partner at Waranch & Brown. His practice focuses on the aggressive defense of physicians, health care facilities, and other businesses throughout Maryland. He has successfully tried to verdict numerous high-dollar cases and has argued before state and federal appellate courts.
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