Medical malpractice insurance is a cornerstone of risk management, safeguarding your clinic against unforeseen challenges and legal claims. Here are key considerations that can help you make informed decisions to protect you.
1. What kind of coverage do I need for an urgent care clinic?
Medical malpractice insurance for urgent care clinics often requires a blend of professional liability, general liability, property insurance, cyber liability, and workers' compensation. It's essential to take into account the services you offer, the number and type of staff you employ, your clinic's physical assets, and your digital exposure. Professional liability covers you for malpractice claims, while general liability can protect against non-medical claims such as slips and falls. Property insurance safeguards your building and equipment, and cyber liability protects against data breaches and other digital risks. Workers' compensation covers employee injuries and illnesses that occur as a result of their job.
2. How does the number of physicians or staff affect my medical malpractice insurance policy?
The number and qualifications of your staff can greatly affect your insurance policy. More medical staff generally increase the risk of malpractice claims, which could result in higher premiums. Conversely, if your staff have advanced training or qualifications that reduce the risk of malpractice, this could potentially lower your premium.
3. Does my policy cover part-time staff or visiting specialists?
Coverage for part-time staff and visiting specialists varies by policy. Some insurance policies automatically include all staff, while others require you to specify each individual covered. It's important to disclose all practitioners at your facility to your insurer to ensure everyone is covered.
4. Does my policy cover telemedicine services?
Coverage for telemedicine services depends on the individual policy. As telemedicine becomes more prevalent, many insurers are extending coverage to include these services, but it's not always automatically included. You'll need to check with your insurer to confirm.
5. What is the "tail" in malpractice insurance and do I need it?
"Tail" coverage protects you against claims made after your policy ends, as most medical malpractice insurance is written on a claims-made basis and only covers claims made during the policy period. Tail coverage can be especially useful for urgent care clinics if you change insurers or discontinue your coverage for some reason, as it continues to protect against claims stemming from care provided while the policy was in effect.
6. How is urgent care malpractice insurance different from hospital or private practice insurance?
Urgent care clinics typically see a wider variety of conditions on a walk-in basis compared to a private practice, and they usually have less comprehensive facilities compared to a full-scale hospital. These unique aspects of urgent care clinics require specific insurance considerations. For instance, there could be higher risks related to initial diagnoses due to the broad range of presenting symptoms and the potential for higher patient volume, which can increase malpractice risk.
7. What factors could increase my premium?
Factors that could increase your premium include your clinic's claims history, the number of patients you see, the number of practitioners at your clinic, the level of their qualifications, and the services you provide. High-risk procedures, a high number of patient interactions, or past malpractice claims could result in higher premiums.
8. Is there a difference in coverage if my urgent care center is open 24/7 versus standard business hours?
While there may not be a direct premium differential based on operating hours, clinics open 24/7 are likely to see more patients and a broader range of conditions, increasing the risk of potential claims. This increased risk might indirectly impact your premium.
9. How are defense costs covered in the policy?
Defense costs coverage depends on your policy type. In some cases, defense costs are included within the policy limit, meaning they would reduce the amount available for any settlements or judgements. In other cases, defense costs are covered outside the policy limit, which would leave the full policy limit available for settlements or judgements. You should clarify this with your insurer.
10. How can I lower my malpractice insurance premiums?
There are several ways to potentially lower your premiums. You might receive discounts for implementing risk management protocols, using electronic health records (EHRs), having no recent claims, and having staff who maintain their professional education and credentials. In addition, choosing a higher deductible can lower your premiums, though it means you'll pay more out of pocket if a claim occurs.
11. What is the process if a claim is made against my clinic?
The process for handling a claim generally involves notifying your insurer as soon as you become aware of a potential claim, then cooperating with the insurer as they investigate and handle the claim. This can include providing necessary documents, attending meetings or court proceedings, and assisting in any settlement discussions. Your insurer should provide legal defense and manage negotiations, keeping you informed throughout the process. Your premiums could potentially increase following a claim, depending on the specifics of the claim and your overall claims history.
Contact SelectFirst Insurance today for help with your Medmal insurance. Call (888) 966-3881or Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.