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What Is Medical Malpractice Insurance?
Medical Malpractice insurance provides professional liability protections for doctors and other health professionals against errors and omissions. As a medical professional provider, unintentional errors may happen at any time which you may become liable for. You must be prepared for such a possibility. Medical Malpractice insurance (MedMal) is a Professional insurance coverage designed for medical, health professionals, groups and facilities. This may include but not limited to internist, dentists, surgeon, OBGYN, aesthetic etc. It will also cover MedSpa, HomeCare, Long Term care facilities, hospitals and more. A medical error could be the cause of a malpractice claim against you or the facility. For example, it could be wrong or failure to diagnose, treatment management, therapy, and/or follow-up. A Medical Malpractice policy is required for medical and allied health professionals to keep their registration to practice in most states.
Why Is Medical Malpractice Important?
Hospital Privileges: MedMal insurance is often required for practice privileges within the hospital. It is also required by many health insurance carriers for doctors reimbursements. Board Actions: Many MedMal insurances provide coverage against the cost of the Medical Licensing Board action defense Medical MalPractice Claims: Malpractice claims can be costly and disruptive to your practice. Even if it's not your fault, you will still have to pay lawyers to defend yourself against frivolous lawsuits. If the claim is legit, whether due to failure to diagnose, treat, or timely refer to hospitals or other professionals, you will need a legal team to defend you and sometimes to negotiate a settlement on your behalf. Standards of care are often challenged during these cases. Another compelling reason to get medical malpractice insurance is peace of mind to concentrate on providing the best possible care to your patients without worrying about unwanted financial or legal consequences.
How Does Medical Malpractice Works?
Determine your needs Determine what needs to be covered: Specialties and procedures Determine where is it covered: Office, Hospital, Home Visits, Telemedicine Determine when it is covered: Are we covering the first year of practice going forward, or are we covering prior years as well? Determine who is covered: Is it the doctor only or an entity that the doctor works for? Who else is additionally insured under the policy? (i.e., Other doctors, nurses, etc.) How much is covered?: What is the policy limit for a single incident, and what is the aggregate limit for the coverage period? Are there any sub-limits for specific procedures? Do the additionally insured share the limit of the policy, or does each one of them have their own separate limit? What about exposure for providers who delivered services in the past but are no longer covered? Do we need to cover their period act? What policy type Claims made vs Occurrence policies? Prepare your submission Fill in required forms and applications Provide your license information Provide practice locations information Provide claims history report Provide CVs and certification information Provide a copy of the most recent policy Get coverage options Number of years Deductibles options Sublimit options Administrative defense options Etc.. Place your order Submit signed order Determine payment options: Single payment vs Finance
How Much Does Medical Malpractice Insurance Cost?
MedMal Insurance costs is significant part of your operation and have been rising since 2017 Based on a research published by the American Medical Association (AMA) titled "An Overview of the Market from 2008 to 2017 - Medical Professional Liability Insurance Premiums" premiums have stayed relatively stable over the previous ten years. The AMA research used data from its Annual Rate Survey to reveal that 74.2 percent of malpractice insurance premium categories remained the same in 2017 as the previous year, while 12.4% of categories saw decreases year over year. An average Medical Malpractice Insurance policy is around $7,500 annually. However, it can be significantly higher based on some of the below factors: Factors Impacting MedMal Insurance Cost 1. Specialty Different specialties have higher risk exposure, which impacts the insurance price; the higher the exposure, the higher the price for example a surgeon will pay higher than family practice. 2. Surgery Surgery type impacts the cost of insurance. The more complex the surgery, the higher premium it carries. Carriers usually classify surgey types as as Major, Minor or no surgery. Where major surgery add most to your policy’s premium 3. Claims history Carriers look closely at the doctors claims history to determine risk factors. They asses severity and frequency of claims. A recent minor claim may not impact your premium. However, repeated small claims will definitely increase your premium. Not that carriers do not have to report claims that settled for less than $ 30,000 so most likely they will not appear in your record. On the other hand a major claims 7 years opr olders may not impact your premium vs a single 2 years old claim. Each carrier evaluate claims history according to their internal underwriting guidelines. Finally, you claim history is maintained in the National Provider Database Bank (NPDB). You can request copy of your claims history directly from NPDB Self Query page 4. Procedures The type of procedure impacts the price of medical malpractice insurance. For example, intricate procedures like hand neurosurgery, plastic surgery, or some risky new Non-FDA unapproved procedures will increase coverage costs. 5. Part time vs Full time practice The cost is influenced by the doctors' practicing hours. There is less risk exposure if a doctor practices one day per week as compared to six days per week. 6. Coverage period The cost of the premium will depend on how long the coverage period is since the longer the coverage period; the more significant risks may occur. Policy coverage period often include prior years. So you may have a copy that cover you for the past 7 years for example. 7. Policy type The insurance cost depends on what type of policy you have. For Claims made, the policy has to be active when a claim comes in while for an occurrence policy, it covers the doctor even if the policy is not active or expired. Occurrence policies are often more expensive than Claims made. 8. Entity vs Individual coverage The cost of insurance depends on how many people the policy covers and if they share the policy's limit or if each has their own limit. 9. Vicarious coverage If you have this coverage, it may have a high impact on insurance cost since anybody in the entity is automatically covered for any issue. For example, if there is a visiting doctor who does not have insurance and your entity practice made a mistake, you will be liable and it will be covered. 10. Risk Management It is good practice to implement a risk management program in your organization. Often these programs earn you CME credit. Many carriers offer discounts if your provider has completed risk management training. Some of these programs are carriers specific. Below are examples of risk management programs The Sullivan Group http://patientsafetymovement.org Getting proper coverage: It is important that you are neither over insured or underinsured for your practice. Select First insurance can help walk you through different options for you to choose from. At the end of the day You know your practice more than anyone else. Thousands of physicians have trusted us for reliable malpractice insurance.