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The American Academy of Spine Physicians recognizes the many complexities of spine care and the challenges that patients with spinal conditions experience. For this reason, the American Academy of Spine Physicians acknowledges and endorses the contributions that neurosurgeons and chiropractic physicians can make to the field of cooperative and conservative spine care.

The conduct of the physician credentialed by the American Academy of Spine Physicians shall be consistent with all applicable local, state and federal regulations, and with the codes of conduct as established by the credentialed physician's discipline. The physician credentialed by the American Academy of Spine Physicians is committed to increasing his or her knowledge of the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of spinal disorders. Every effort will be made to safeguard the health and safety of patients who seek the services of physicians credentialed by the American Academy of Spine Physicians.

Professional Conduct

The credentialed Spine Physician is obligated to maintain his or her skills and competency such that it conforms to the standards of conduct to the physician's 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 credentialed Spine Physician will conduct his or her professional behavior in a manner that promotes competent and comprehensive patient care.

Responsibility

The credentialed Spine Physician shall apply the standards of care evenly and fairly to all patients who receive services. Physicians 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 credentialed Spine Physician is to provide thorough documentation and timely communication to members of the spine care team, insurance carriers and other pertinent parties in order to assure continuity of care. Health care records are to be legible, methodical, and objective. The records should reflect the physician's independent professional opinions, the basis for those opinions, and any subsequent recommendations. The credentialed Spine Physician will provide only those services for which he or she is competent and qualified to perform. The credentialed Spine Physician 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.

Confidentiality

The credentialed Spine Physician is obligated to protect information obtained during the course of caring for their patients. 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 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 credentialed Spine Physician shall maintain a high standard of professionalism and professional competence. He or she shall recognize the limits of their skills, the scope of their licensure and shall provide services consistent with the standards of their profession.

The credentialed Spine Physician has an obligation to accurately represent his or her training, education and experience to their patients and the public. The credentialed Spine Physician shall engage in continuing education which requires a minimum of 100 credits of continuing education obtained through the AASP in spine related topics every four years. The credentialed Spine Physician recognizes that the field of spine care is broad and rapidly growing. He or she shall be open to new advances in the diagnosis and care of spinal disorders. The credentialed Spine Physician shall refrain from those procedures and treatment approaches that pose undue risk to their patients without first considering other therapeutic options. The credentialed Spine Physician shall seek to employ those services which may achieve the greatest benefit while exposing the patient to the least risk whenever possible. The credentialed Spine Physician shall obtain consultation with other providers when indicated, and shall clearly inform the patient of the likely risks inherent to any proposed diagnostic procedures or treatments.

Business Practices

The credentialed Spine Physician will abide by all prevailing community standards. He or she will comply to 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 credentialed Spine Physician 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 credentialed Spine Physician shall engage in behavior that conforms to high standards of ethical, legal, medical and moral behavior.

Spine Related Research

The credentialed Spine Physicians may engage in research concerning the care of spinal and related conditions. 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.

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