Code of Ethics
The American Academy of Spine Physicians (AASP) recognizes the many complexities of spinecare and the challenges that patients with spinal conditions experience. For this reason, the Academy acknowledges and endorses the contributions that physicians and other healthcare professionals make to the field of cooperative and conservative spine care.
The conduct of members of the American Academy of Spine Physicians shall be compliant with all applicable local, state and federal regulations, and with the codes of conduct as established by the credentialed physician's or other professionals discipline. Members of the American Academy of Spine Physicians are committed to their knowledge of the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of spinal disorders. Every effort must be made to safeguard the health and safety of patients who seek the services of members/affiliate members of the American Academy of Spine Physicians.
Members, including credentialed Spine Physicians, are obligated to maintain their skills and competency such that it conforms to the standards of conduct to the professions community practice and discipline. The care of spinal disorders may require a multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary approach which will require open communication and timely referrals. The AASP member will conduct his or her professional behavior in a manner that promotes competent and comprehensive patient care.
The AASP member shall apply the standards of care evenly and fairly to all patients who receive services. Healthcare professionals who are employed by an institution, agency or clinic have the responsibility to be alert of situations which may compromise the best interest of the patient and shall make every effort to improve those conditions.
The member is to provide thorough documentation and timely communication to other members of the healthcare team, insurance carriers and to other pertinent parties in order to assure continuity of care. Healthcare records are to be legible, methodical, and objective. The records should reflect independent professional opinions, the basis for those opinions, and any subsequent recommendations. The member must only provide those services for which they are competent and qualified to perform. The member will refrain from providing services which are not in the patient's best interest, in conflict with the ethical standards of his or her discipline or which are in violation of standards established by applicable regulatory agencies or boards.
The AASP member is obligated to protect information obtained during the course of caring for their patients. They agree to comply with governing HIPPA and other pertinent privacy regulations. Information acquired during the scope of practice may routinely be released only with the patents written authorization. In emergency situations when their exists a clear and imminent danger to the health, safety or welfare of the patient or to others or when such release is required by a court order or subpoena, the physician or other healthcare professional may release relevant medical information without the patent's written consent.
Patients have the privilege and right to obtain a copy of their medical records to the extent that is feasible and practical and when there are no legal or clinical contraindications. The medical records are to be provided in a timely manner, consistent with state guidelines, after receipt of request by the authorized individual.
Continuing Education and Competence
The AASP member shall maintain a high standard of professionalism and professional competence. They must recognize the limits of their skills, the scope of their licensure and they shall provide services consistent with the standards of their profession.
The AASP member has an obligation to accurately represent their training, education and experience to their patients and the public. The member should be committed to obtaining continuing education in spinecare .The member recognizes that the field of spinecare is broad and rapidly growing. He or she shall be open to new advances in the diagnosis and care of spinal disorders. The member shall refrain from those procedures and treatment approaches that pose undue risk to their patients without first considering other therapeutic options. The member shall seek to employ those services which may achieve the greatest benefit while exposing the patient to the least risk whenever possible. The member shall obtain consultation with other healthcare providers when indicated, and shall clearly inform the patient of the likely risks inherent to any proposed diagnostic procedures or treatments.
The member spine specialist will abide by all prevailing community standards. They must comply with all local state and federal laws regulating the business practices. If used, advertising must be honest, factual and accurate and advertising must not contain false or exaggerated claims. The member spine specialist shall not enter into any arrangements in which unlawful fee splitting occurs, where there is a conflict of interest, or where unjustifiable influence or pressure is imposed upon the patient. The member shall engage in behavior that conforms to high standards of ethical, legal, medical and moral behavior.
The member may engage in research concerning the care of spine and related disorders. In doing so they shall prioritize the safety of their patients. Investigations shall be consistent with the traditions and practices of the credentialed physician's discipline. Research must conform to all local, state and federal policies and regulations.