Send to

Choose Destination
Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2015 Sep 4;10(9):1651-5. doi: 10.2215/CJN.06440614. Epub 2014 Dec 9.

Legal Issues for the Medical Director.

Author information

DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc., Kingwood, Texas


The nephrologist serving as medical director of a dialysis clinic must understand that the role of director is not simply an extension of being a good nephrologist. The two roles-nephrology practice and the leadership of a dialysis clinic-may be filled by a single person. However, each role contains unique tasks, requiring specific skill sets, and each role comes with inherent, associated legal risks. The medical director assumes a new level of responsibility and accountability defined by contractual obligations to the dialysis provider and by state and federal regulations. Hence, a medical director is accountable not only for providing standard-of-care treatment to his or her private practice patients dialyzed at the clinic but also for maintaining the safety of the dialysis clinic patient population and staff. Accordingly, a nephrologist serving in the role of medical director faces distinct legal risks beyond typical professional liability concerns. The medical director must also be mindful of regulatory compliance, unique avenues to licensure board complaints, and implications of careless communication habits. A thoughtful and prepared medical director can mitigate these risk exposures by understanding the sources of these challenges: contractual obligations, pertinent regulatory responsibilities, and the modern electronic communications environment.


ESRD; professional liability; risk management; social media

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center