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Four D's Of Negligence healthcare provider is guilty of negligence. � Duty. The healthcare provider owes a duty to the patient. A primary physician owes a duty to tell a patient that the mole on his face might be cancer. However, a physician who meets a person on the train and notices the mole doesn�t have a duty to tell the person that the mole might be cancer. � Derelict. The healthcare provider breaches the duty. That is, the primary physician notices the mole but doesn�t do anything about it. � Direct cause. The breach of duty injured the patient. For example, the cancer on the patient�s face spread into the nose. � Damages. The patient is entitled to damages from the healthcare provider. Some states have imposed laws that restrict claims brought against healthcare providers in order to reduce frivolous lawsuits. For example, a medical review panel composed of physicians and a neutral attorney may examine the facts about the claim to be assured that the facts support the claim. If so, then the case goes to court; otherwise the charges are dismissed. Physicians are vicariously liable for actions of their employees on the job under the respondeat superior doctrine, which means �let the master answer.� An employee while on the job is an agent of the physician. An agent is someone who performs an action on behalf of another person. This means that the physician is vicariously liable for the action of the medical insurance specialist if those actions occur within the scope of the job. For example, the physician who employed the medical insurance specialist is vicariously liable to Mrs. Roberts by the medical insurance specialist�s action of revealing Mrs. Roberts� patient information. In order to prove vicarious liability � An agency must exist between the employer and the person who commits the action such as the physician who employed the medical insurance specialist. � The action must have occurred within the scope of the employee�s job. The medical insurance specialist was working at the time that the patient information was revealed and the patient information was obtained as part of the medical insurance specialist�s job. Regardless of the intent, the medical insurance specialist�s action is a tort. The nature of the tort depends on the type of law that was violated. Here are common torts that a medical insurance specialist must understand. � Invasion of privacy. A person intrudes into the private affairs of another without permission. � Defamation of character. A person causes the publication of a false statement that damages another person�s reputation. � Malice. A person causes the publication of a false statement that damages another person�s reputation and knows that the statement is false before the statement is published. � Slander. A false statement is said in the presence of another person. � Libel. A false statement made in writing. � Informed consent. A person agrees to allow something to happen such as permitting the healthcare professional to share the person�s medical records with the person�s insurance company. � Standards of care. Legal guidelines that specify the level of care that a patient must receive from a healthcare provider. � Malfeasance. A healthcare provider has a duty to do something but doesn�t. The healthcare provider�s lack of action results in an injury of another person.