Telemedicine Today-Claim Tomorrow?
With the almost overnight shift from outpatient office visits to telemedicine, the malpractice insurance risk management industry has begun identifying areas of concern for medical professional liability exposures in the practice of Telemedicine. Some companies have even developed Risk Management webinars for their insureds. Most medical malpractice companies are updating their websites regularly with tips and recommendations. Check with your agent or visit the company’s website for the most updated information.
Telemedicine-Is it for you?
Seeing patients in an environment where you can’t take vital signs? Physicians are uncomfortable with this scenario. Nevertheless, with many patients refusing to come to the office, primary care physicians and specialists have embraced Telemedicine as the best way to provide continuity of care and specialists consults during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most medical malpractice insurance companies are extending coverage for Telemedicine practice. Many medical malpractice insurance companies have guidelines and recommendations for adding the Telehealth component to your practice. Check with your agent or go to your medical malpractice insurance company’s website for information regarding overage for Telemedicine.
COVID-19 Impacts Specialists & Surgeons
The mandatory shutdown/moratorium on elective surgeries in many states, along with patient unwillingness to visit their specialist physician for ongoing and follow-up care for chronic conditions, have resulted in empty waiting rooms and cancelled surgeries. This has created a severe cash flow crunch for surgeons and specialists. Many practices had no option but to furlough staff and reduce their hours of operation. In some instances, your medical malpractice insurance company will provide some relief in the form of premium suspensions or deferments. In the case of a premium suspension, coverage is also suspended for the duration of the premium suspension, so premium suspension is not often feasible unless it is for one-member physician of a large group practice. “I still have to take Trauma Call” advised one of our orthopedic surgeon clients—”a suspension would not work for me—but all my elective cases are cancelled until further notice.” In this instance, the insurance company agreed to a give the surgeon a 50% part-time rating discount. “Part-Time” is usually defined as 20 hours per week or less. Each insurance company has addressed the shutdown in different ways, so your best option is to contact your agent for assistance. Feel free to reach out to one of the CLS HealthCare Liability specialists, Mark or Beth at 1-866-31-8745, if you have any questions or concerns.
Sinking Ships and Failing Concerns-Is Your Medical Malpractice Insurance in Jeopardy?
Over the last twelve months several medical malpractice insurance risk retention groups and companies have gone or are going the way of the Titanic. This creates a multitude of problems for their insureds, a range of bad to worse. Bad enough to have paid a premium for medical malpractice insurance that is now worthless. Worse if you have an open claim being defended by a company that has now abandoned you. If you purchased your medical malpractice insurance through a reputable agent, most likely your agent has contacted you and facilitated changing your coverage to a financially stable company. However, if you are with a “direct-writer”, meaning you placed our coverage directly with the insurance company, you have no advocate to advise you and to represent your best interests. If you have any concerns about the financial viability of your current malpractice insurance company, contact one of our agents, we would be happy to assist you. 1-866-321-8745, extension 101 or 104.
Malpractice Insurance Can Be Rewarding-Who Knew?
We view malpractice insurance as a necessary professional expense, a “must-have” in today’s litigious society. You might be surprised to learn that some malpractice insurance companies give financial rewards and loyalty incentives to their insureds.
Dividend Credits -Several companies give a dividend on prior year’s coverage, once that year’s claims are closed and resolved. Any remaining premium dollars are returned to the insureds as a premium offset or a cash dividend.
Cash Retirement Allocations -Two major carriers allocate a percentage of each year’s premium to a retirement account and give a cash benefit to the insured upon retirement.
Stock Buy-Back -Several privately held insurance trusts and reciprocals have converted to stock insurance companies, and then purchased by a larger company. The physician founder-owners were compensated over the course of their coverage with dividends and then a stock buy-out. A recent transaction netted our clients a collective $1.7M.
For a more rewarding coverage experience, contact one of our agents today.
Ransomware Attack Against Allscripts
EHR vendor Allscripts suffered a ransomware attack on January 18, 2018. Physicians and Medical Groups who have been affected should contact their medical professional liability insurer. Most standard malpractice insurance policies include some Cyber Liability coverage. Your insurer can put you in touch with their cyber liability defense firm to advise you. If you would like a quote for stand-alone Cyber Liability/Data Breach coverage, give us a call and we will send you the application.
Centurion Approved to Write in TennesseeWe at CLS are exited to announce that one of our our coverage partners, Centurion Medical Liability Protective , RRG, has been approved to write medical malpractice insurance in Tennessee! Centurion offers affordable pricing along with a broad coverage form including license and reluatory defense and Cyber Liability (Data Breach). Tennesse physicians interested in a quote can contact us at 1-866-321-8745.
NEW Tail Program Exclusively Through CLS
LTT Protection Solutions New Tail Program is exclusive to CLS Healthcare Liability Specialists.
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NEW TAIL PROGRAM EFFECTIVE OCT 1, 2015
Managing Risks for Locum Tenens
It’s commonly said now that when new graduates enter the healthcare field, they should not wonder if they’ll get sued, but rather wonder when they’ll get sued. All healthcare practitioners assume a high degree of risk, which is why affordable malpractice insurance is so crucial. However, locum tenens physicians have unique concerns when it comes to risk management. Contracting with a recruiting agency that provides locum tenens insurance in Miami is just one step toward risk management.
Review the Locum Tenens Insurance Policy
Every locum tenens physician should fully understand the extent of their healthcare liability insurance coverage. Typically, staffing agencies provide claims-made coverage, which provide coverage for claims that arise during the active period of the policy. If your recruiting agency offers claims-made locum tenens insurance, make sure you will also have tail coverage. Additionally, remember that different states and hospitals have varying minimum coverage requirements . Make sure that your policy meets the requirements for a particular area before accepting a position. Bear in mind that when you apply for future licenses and medical staff privileges, you may be asked to demonstrate proof of prior liability insurance. Always keep a certificate of insurance in your personal records.
Request an Orientation
When you begin a new locum tenens position, it’s wise to request an orientation. Some healthcare facilities routinely offer formal orientations to new staff members. If not, you can ask a co-worker to introduce you to the system. You may need to be shown how to use the clinic’s electronic health records (EHR) software, for example. Be sure to ask questions about anything that isn’t clear to you.
Maintain Solid Documentation
Meticulous documentation is especially important for locum tenens providers. Record all pertinent information in a patient’s record, and exercise caution when ordering procedures and tests. After ordering a test or imaging study, make sure you receive the results in a timely manner. Help your patients gain confidence in your ability by carefully explaining diagnoses, discussing side effects and complications, and discussing other relevant matters.
Communicate with Your Agency
Don’t hesitate to speak up if you have concerns about the quality of patient care or the safety of the hospital environment. Let your staffing agency know immediately about any issues and incidents, even if you were not directly involved in an incident.
What is Professional Liability Insurance?
Many different types of professionals need to be protected by professional liability insurance , such as locum tenens insurance in Palm Beach Gardens. This is true even of leading industry specialists who are generally regarded as being above reproach. For example, affordable malpractice insurance protects healthcare providers in the event that a patient or family suffers losses as an alleged result of medical errors.
You can hear more about the basics of professional liability insurance by watching this video. This insurance expert explains the circumstances in which an individual needs insurance coverage and offers some examples of occupations to which these circumstances might apply. He also discusses the difference between professional liability and product liability.