Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Compounding Disaster - July 2016 - Subscribe to Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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Manage Your Facility's Vicarious Liability Risk you could be liable for the negligence of your independent contractors. A s you probably know, under the legal doc- trine known as vicari- ous liability, a surgical facility can find itself in the crosshairs of a medical malpractice lawsuit due to the actions or inactions of the employees it has hired to its staff. That means that a doctor, for example, may not be the only defendant in a negligent lawsuit — a hospital or surgical center that retained the doc- tor on its staff may be as well. But you may not be aware that vicarious liability extends your legal responsibility to the damages caused by non-employee patient care subcontractors as well. Read on to find out how to manage your facility's vicarious liability risk. It's not uncommon in the outpatient surgery arena for service providers to be engaged as subcontractors (that is, governed by a 1099 tax status) rather than employees (W-2 tax status). Surgical facilities can be exposed to liability by contract employees in many positions: anesthesia providers, per-diem nurses, physician assis- tants and physicians themselves. Even such outsourced, external services as instrument reprocessing, surgical equipment rental and technical consulting, and pre-owned equipment dealers can put facilities in the hot seat. It's important for you to understand that the business models of contract employees or 3 0 • O U T PA T I E N T S U R G E R Y M A G A Z I N E • J U l y 2 0 1 6 Legal Update Keith J. Roberts, JD • HANDS ON In medical malpractice litigation, courts have frequently found surgical facilities liable for anesthesia providers and other contract employees.

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