In Reply: We did not collect
information about how insurance company policies might influence how
physicians practice or feel about curbsiding. We feel it is unfortunate
that Dr Block's malpractice insurer has chosen to prohibit curbside
consultations because of the potential liability. One of the main
findings of our study was the disagreement between primary care
physicians and subspecialists about the quality of information
exchanged in curbside consultations. However, we also established that
curbside consultations are perceived to be an important method of
communication between physicians that may have certain advantages such
as saving time. It remains to be shown whether curbside consultations
result in more adverse outcomes compared with formal consultations.
Until such data become available, we believe physicians should continue
to "curbside" each other. Rather than implementing broad policies
against curbsiding, insurance companies and other institutions might
consider providing guidelines for the proper utilization of curbside
consultations. We hope that our findings will help improve this
important element of medical practice.
Kuo D, Gifford DR, Stein MD. Curbside Consultation and Malpractice Policies—Reply. JAMA. 1999;281(10):899. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-281-10-jac90000
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