Physician/Patient Relationship: Nurse Practitioner Agreement for Physician Consultation Did Not Establish Duty

February 1, 2014 | Healthcare Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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​An Indiana appellate court affirmed a trial court's decision to award a physician summary judgment in a case in which the parents of a deceased patient alleged negligence against the physician arising out of a contractual relationship between the physician and the nurse practitioner who treated the patient.

The private-practice physician agreed to an Indiana collaborative practice agreement (CPA) for prescriptive authority with a nurse practitioner who worked in a primary care clinic, and as part of the agreement, the physician agreed to make himself available to the nurse practitioner for consultation as needed and to review a small percentage of the nurse practitioner's randomly selected records. Additionally, the agreement stated that it was "not intended to serve as a substitute for [the nurse...

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