Perspectives on COVID-19: Highlights from the 2020 Executive Advisory Board Meeting
Updated August 5, 2020: Each year, The Doctors Company brings together representatives of the nation’s leading healthcare organizations to discuss issues affecting the practice of medicine. For 2020, in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, topics at the virtual gathering focus on the pandemic itself, addressing vital ongoing needs amidst unprecedented pressures on physicians, practices, hospitals, and health systems.
As leaders share lessons learned, compare experiences, and find a path forward, the gathering yields insights to inform decisions being made today across the spectrum of care.
Here are a few of the key takeaways from guest speakers at the August 5, 2020, meeting:
- Andrew Racine, MD, PhD, system senior vice president and chief medical officer at Montefiore Medical Center in New York, on “COVID-19, Lessons Learned.” Racine says that the current pandemic calls for healthcare leaders to throw out everything they know with regard to daily operations and to adopt a flexible, nimble mindset that is open to almost any possibility. He delivers lessons learned from Montefiore’s communications strategy with providers during COVID-19, emphasizing both compassion and consistency.
- Martin Fee, MD, senior vice president and chief clinical officer at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian, Infectious Disease Specialist in California, on “COVID-19, Lessons Learned.” Fee addresses the need for organizations to stay on top of changing official guidelines during a public health emergency while communicating frequently with physicians—and the value for leaders of remaining calm and not taking things personally.
- John E. Hall Jr., Esq., partner at Hall Booth Smith, P.C., presents “Preparing Your COVID-19 Defense: Seizing Opportunities.” Hall explains qualified immunity laws and executive orders that protect healthcare workers and institutions from civil liability related to the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19. Crucially, he also discusses steps individuals and institutions can take to preserve evidence to better prepare themselves to take advantage of those immunity laws—and details steps for immediate risk mitigation, such as reviewing all consent forms and/or admission documents from a pandemic point of view.
- Jacob Zissu, Esq. shareholder at Clausen Miller, P.C., discusses “Securing Additional Coverage to Protect You.” Zissu notes that risk transfer opportunities may be available to individuals and institutions defending themselves from medical professional liability claims related to diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19. The two most common examples of risk transfer are insurance and contractual indemnity—and contractual indemnity may be able to shift the risk more fully in a way that existing tort, or common law, may not.
These healthcare thought leaders’ messages help us further our mission to advance, protect, and reward the practice of good medicine.
The guidelines suggested here are not rules, do not constitute legal advice, and do not ensure a successful outcome. The ultimate decision regarding the appropriateness of any treatment must be made by each healthcare provider considering the circumstances of the individual situation and in accordance with the laws of the jurisdiction in which the care is rendered.