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Discovery Rule

legal theory that the statute of limitations begins to run at the time the injury is discovered or when the patient should have known the injury.

Good Samaritan Laws

state laws that help to protect from liability healthcare professionals and ordinary citizens who provide emergency care to accident victims.

Prudent Person Rule

also called the "reasonable person standard", means that a healthcare professional, usually a physician, must provide information to a patient that a reasonable, prudent person would want before he/she makes a decision about treatment or refusal of treatment.

Respondeat superior

"let the master answer", means the employer is responsible for the actions of the employee

Statute of Limitations

refers to the period of time that a patient has to file a lawsuit

Associate Practice

legal agreement in which physicians agree to share a facility and staff but not the profits and losses

Conscience Clause

legislation or regulation stating that hospitals and healthcare professionals are not required to assist with such procedures as abortion and sterilization.

Fee Splitting

occurs when one physician offers to pay another physician for the referral of patients


the person, such as a primary care physician, or entity, such as an insurance company, that approves patient referrals to other physicians or services

Group Practice

three or more physicians who share the same facility and practice medicine together

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)

a type of managed care plan that offers a range of health services to plan members for a predemtermined fee per member by a limited group of providers


a person who is without funds


federal program that provides healthcare coverage for persons over 65 years of age as well as for disabled persons or those who suffer kidney disease or other debilitating ailments


federal program, implemented by the individual states, to provide financial assistance for the indigent

Solo Practice

a medical practice in which the physician works alone

Advance Directive

the various methods by which a patient has the right to self-determination prior toa medical necessity; includes living wills, healthcare proxies, and durable power of attorney

Implied Consent

an agreement that is made through inference by signs, inaction, or silence

Informed Consent

consent granted by a person after the patient has received knowledge and understanding of potential risks and benefits

Living Will

a legal document in which a person states that life-sustaining treatments and nutritional support should not be used to prolong life; a type of advance directive


prediction of the course of a disease

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