What's up with the new healthcare disclaimers?
November 27, 2020 8:55 PM   Subscribe

In the past few weeks I've spoken with 2 RN's on my local nurse line as well as a pharmacist, all about different issues. In all three cases, the person gave a disclaimer that they couldn't tell me what to do, that what they say isn't medical advice, etc. They've all repeated it several times. (They are saying things like "If this was me...") This is new. I figure something must have changed re malpractice laws/insurance etc recently to bring this on. Anybody know more? I'm in VA if that matters.
posted by mermaidcafe to Health & Fitness (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
That's been common practice in IL pretty much as long as I've lived here (over 10 years). I wonder if it's ramped up in repetition because telehealth is much more widely available and some possible confusion between the differences between a nurseline and a telehealth appointment.
posted by AlexiaSky at 9:00 PM on November 27, 2020 [3 favorites]

Agreeing with AlexiaSky here. The health system I work at (in VA!) has made increasingly stricter rules about "telemedicine" and what disclaimers need to be voiced and observed.

One example (although this was from the outset of the pandemic): none of my providers can participate in telemedicine appointments if the patient is not physically in the state of Virginia during the telemed appointment.

It appears that the administrators now have enough time on their hands to make helping people "legal," sadly.
posted by kuanes at 6:13 AM on November 28, 2020

I assume this has to do with their titles. Registered Nurses aren't licensed to make diagnoses or prescribe medicines, but Nurse Practitioners can. Same with Pharmacists. They can give you information about drug interactions and things like that, but they can't change your prescription. I doubt the "if this was me" thing is new, but they might be more mindful of it than they used to.
posted by jonathanhughes at 6:32 AM on November 28, 2020 [3 favorites]

Jonathanhughes has it. NPS, PAs, CNMs, and other Advanced Practice Providers are licensed and qualified to make diagnoses and give medical advice. RNs, LVNs, and MAs are not, so making a formal diagnosis and giving “medica advice” would be considered medical malpractice. An RN, for example, can listen to your lungs and hear a wheeze, but it is the NP who diagnoses asthma, and then manages/treats it.
posted by robertthebruce at 4:04 AM on November 29, 2020

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