Some medical practices are very large. Others are smaller. However, they all provide essential medical services. They also, in every case, pose risks to their clients. After all, medical care deals with someone’s health and well-being in a direct way. Mistakes, therefore, could cause severe harm to the clients. If this happens, then clients could hold the doctor and the facility responsible for this mistake. They might sue for malpractice, which is why facilities need malpractice insurance. What can you do to ensure you have the appropriate coverage?
Any time a patient enters a medical practice, they could sustain harm. Of course, there’s always the chance that they might fall in the lobby or sustain some other type of injury. However, perhaps uniquely to medical facilities, the patients could sustain harm while in the care of a doctor. This might fall under the definition of malpractice.
Doctors might not intend to cause harm, but mistakes happen. Some of these cases might qualify as malpractice. Malpractice occurs when a physician deviates from established standards of care. As a result, the patient sustains harm. Some examples of malpractice include:
- Surgical errors
- Performing the wrong procedure or type of surgery
- Performing unnecessary surgery
- Failure to diagnose, misdiagnosis, or failure to recognize symptoms
- Improper discharge
- Improper follow-up care
- Wrong interpretations of lab results
- Failure to order tests
- Providing the wrong medication or dosage
If mistakes are made, they might not necessarily count as malpractice. However, that doesn’t mean a patient can’t take action against you or your practice. Many doctors face malpractice challenges and lawsuits. They have to respond, even if the allegation proves false.
To help physicians and facilities respond to these allegations, malpractice insurance is the key. Coverage helps medical providers in cases where their mistakes might face scrutiny.
What’s Malpractice Insurance?
Medical malpractice insurance applies in cases where the practice could face allegations of harm from clients. The covered practitioners can protect themselves in these cases, but they can also protect the clients. That is one of the policy’s main objectives, after all.
Malpractice insurance is a type of professional liability insurance. Some people call professional liability coverage errors & omissions policies because the coverage kicks in during situations where the policyholder’s errors lead to harm to others. It is liability insurance that can help pay for the costs of such damage.
By tapping into these policies, the insured party can provide the affected clients with settlements and compensation for their losses. Furthermore, coverage can help the policyholder by ensuring they don’t have to pay out-of-pocket for these losses. Coverage also often offers them legal assistance. So, if a client were to sue your practice in court, your malpractice insurance might help you pay for your defense costs.
Who Needs These Policies
Malpractice policies might apply in any number of situations of misconduct (real or alleged) by a doctor’s office or hospital.
Still, there are so many different employees within practices. If you are in charge of your facility’s policies, it is important to ensure that all practitioners who need coverage have it. Those who usually need this coverage are:
- Physicians and Surgeons
- Plastic Surgeons
- PAs (Physicians Assistants)
- Medical Students
- Nurse Practitioners
- Physical Therapists
- CRNAs (Nurse Anesthetists)
- Medical Spas
- Behavioral Health Service Providers
- Nursing Home Staff
In many cases, these individuals will benefit by carrying their own malpractice coverage. In fact, the law usually requires certain care providers to have coverage.
However, just because staff members have coverage, that doesn’t mean that facilities themselves will not need their own coverage. Hospitals, large practices, and in fact nearly any type of medical practice, often carry their own malpractice policies.
By having coverage for the organization, the facility will be able to insure its own interests in case malpractice suits affect one of its employees. In many cases, the facility will provide employees with coverage through its own policy. In fact, group coverage provided by the facility might make coverage more affordable for those who need it. Group policies might also offer more-cohesive coverage across different employees. Therefore, there will be less confusion about benefits in case claims situations arise.
However, though the facility has coverage, this is not a guarantee that individual physicians will not need their own policies. Hospitals and other practices might also be able to require their staff members to carry coverage. Therefore, if a particular physician needs additional, or better-tailored coverage, they’ll be able to have it.
If you oversee your medical facility’s malpractice benefits, it’s important that you abide by all legal requirements when establishing coverage rules for providers. However, also make sure that employees get the appropriate amounts of coverage for themselves. Our agents are happy to help you determine the appropriate course of action when getting your policies.