Few industries are as emotionally and physically demanding as the healthcare industry. Every day, healthcare professionals choose to put themselves and their careers on the line in order to save lives. While this profession has long been respected, it has increasingly become one where health workers experience legal challenges.
Lawsuits against practicing healthcare professionals have become commonplace. This leaves many in potentially sticky situations. The result is a strong need for healthcare professionals to purchase various types of insurance. While it is unlikely that any doctor would desire to do harm to his or her patients, the legal expense of protecting oneself in court from claims of misdeeds can be extremely high. Likewise, losing a legal defense could be enough to put a private practice out of business.
Health workers should consider an array of insurance options. Not only to protect themselves but also any nurses and other individuals that they employ.
Read on to learn more about the insurance both you and your practice need.
General Liability protects your physical practice as a whole. This insurance is the most common product for all businesses with a physical location. This policy will insure Bodily Injury Claims (claims of injuries incurred while on the physical premises of your practice) and Property Damage (should you or someone employed in your practice accidentally damage someone’s property).
Workers Compensation is a type of insurance that provides assistance to workers who have been injured on the job while performing work-related duties. With the exception of Texas, every state requires Workers Compensation of some type.
A Business Owners Policy, or a BOP, is a policy that combines the benefits of several other insurance types. Specifically, a BOP includes the benefits from General Liability Insurance and a Property Insurance policy. Together, these areas cover some of the most important concerns for healthcare professionals.
This insurance policy, also known as Medical Professional Liability Insurance, protects healthcare professionals from claims of negligence. This insurance is similar to a General Liability or Professional Liability Insurance policy. However, it is uniquely focused on medical-related claims.
There may be a time when your business suffers from cases of fraud. In these cases, employee benefit plans may end abruptly. An ERISA Bond, is a required bond purchase for healthcare professionals who have qualifying benefits plans which depend on the business. An ERISA Bond exists to ensure that employees are compensated 100% for whatever amount they were owed within the plan.
You’ll Need This When…
You open a practice at a physical location other than a hospital. In most cases, those responsible for the daily operations of the hospital, which generally will not be practicing healthcare workers, will be responsible for taking care of the legal requirements for the physical property and staff. However, a privately practicing professional with his or her location should acquire this policy even before the practice opens.
If a patient is accidentally cut or punctured by a needle someone left in a restroom trash can in your offices, your practice could be held liable for any present and future injuries and illnesses that result from the incident. General Liability would provide medical expenses for the injured party, while also providing you and your practice with the necessary funds should the individual decide to sue.
You’ll Need This When…
Your business first opens. Some states have minimum requirements in place which determine whether you do or do not need to purchase this insurance. The requirements are often based on the number of individuals you employ.
If a nurse who works at your practice contracts a rare disease, he or she may be eligible to receive Workers Compensation. Although some may consider this a consequence of working as a nurse or in the medical field, Workers Compensation claims among nurses and other medical practitioners are commonplace.
It’s important to note that while some states have a “presumptive eligibility” rule, wherein nurses, doctors, and other health workers are immediately believed to have contracted certain diseases while in the workplace, this rule is only standard in some states.
You’ll Need This When… Your practice is just starting out. Business Owners Policy is a beneficial option for those who need to purchase multiple types of insurance products, and for whom General Liability and Property Insurance products are required or desired.
If your practice does not currently possess any insurance types, a BOP can help insure against bodily injury or property damage that occurs on your property.
You’ll Need This When…
You first open your practice, and at all times afterward. A Medical Malpractice Insurance policy should be at the forefront of insurance concerns for a practicing health worker.
If a patient claims that either you, a nurse or another individual employed in your office gave them the wrong prescription, a malpractice lawsuit could occur. This insurance helps to cover liability in this case by providing legal representation and damage payouts if you are found responsible.
You’ll Need This When…
You begin to use any vehicles for business more than half the time. This is especially important if you allow other employees to use a vehicle for business-related purposes as well.
If you are injured in an accident while attempting to make a house call, a Personal Auto Insurance policy may not cover the cost. However, a Commercial Auto Insurance policy will likely cover it.
The cost of insurance for healthcare professionals will vary. Full costs will depend on the number of employees within a private practice, the location of the practice, the type of medical services provided, and the nature of the business operations, among other things. Getting an insurance quote will provide better clarity in the total cost.
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