Those who treat patients with substance use disorders must ensure that they practice evidence-based psychiatry, which is to practice above the minimum standard of care, document that care, and prepare themselves for litigious patients, family members and government agencies. Unfortunately, substance use treaters and treatment facilities present easy targets for malpractice cases, at least in part because of the remaining miasma of stigma that hovers around addiction itself. Person’s with substance use disorders are at higher risk of suicide, overdose and catastrophic relapse, making their treatment a high-stakes activity for all involved. Other potential causes for malpractice include failure to recognize the need for inpatient treatment, careless (or even criminal) prescribing of controlled substances, and breach of laws, regulations and rules that govern the treatment of the patients with substance use disorders. This presentation reviews examples of malpractice charges brought against addiction psychiatrists and common methods for avoiding both the appearance and actuality of medical malpractice.
**This content was captured at the 2016 APA Annual Meeting and may reference information from various sources and terminology from previous editions of the DSM.
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- Describe laws, guidelines, and recommendations in addiction psychiatry
- Explain malpractice liability for general and addiction psychiatry
- Identify ways to avoid malpractice and summarize cases that led to malpractice
Estimated Time to Complete
Estimated Duration: 30 minutes
Begin Date: April 1, 2017
End Date: February 1, 2020
How to Earn Credit
Participants who wish to earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit ™ or a certificate of participation may do so by completing all sections of the course including the evaluation. A multiple choice quiz is provided based on the content. A passing score of 100% must be achieved. Retakes are available for the test. After evaluating the program, course participants will be provided with an opportunity to claim hours of participation and print an official CME certificate (physicians) or certificate of participation (non-physicians) showing the event date and hours earned.
The American Psychiatric Association (APA) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The APA designates this enduring CME activity for a maximum of 0.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
Faculty and Planner Disclosures
- Laurence M. Westreich, M.D., New York University School of Medicine. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.
- Tristan Gorrindo, M.D., Director of Education, American Psychiatric Association. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.
- Carine Nzodom, M.D., Louisiana State University School of Medicine. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.
- Ricardo A. Juarez, M.S., Deputy Director, Development and Engagement, American Psychiatric Association. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.
- Claire Van Wagner, Membership Development Coordinator, American Psychiatric Association. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.
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