Archives for January, 2011

A Synopsis of the Claims-Made Medical Malpractice Insurance Policy

Medical malpractice insurance jargon can be quite onerous for an individual who hasn’t spent his or her career learning the language of medical professional liability coverage. Consider the following phrases; retroactive date, mature premium, first year premium, tail coverage, nose coverage and extended reporting period. It’s probable that you have heard these used but you may not fully realize their significance to your claims-made policy, and more importantly their direct impact to your premium outlay. A basic understanding of the claims-made policy (and the language that comes with it) will help any physician, surgeon or medical professional when their next renewal rolls around.

Claims-Made Policies Work On This Basic Premise

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The Looming Staffing Crisis in EHR

As many physicians know, the federal government is spending nearly $20 billion in the next five years to promote and encourage the adoption of electronic health records (EHR) in physician offices.

If you think about the overall medical software environment, it’s easy to understand why the job will be easier said than done.

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Vicarious Liability – How it Affects Your Medical Malpractice Insurance

In general terms, Vicarious Liability is liability one incurs on behalf of someone else’s acts.

Specifically in regard to physician and surgeons medical practices, if you are a single physician with no employees and handle 100% of all patient contact by yourself, then the topic of vicarious liability likely does not apply to you.

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A Projected U.S. Physician Shortage

There is a great deal of talk in the news and in the healthcare field regarding a possible shortage of physicians and surgeons in the U.S. in the coming years.  According to many, the new healthcare reform plan that President Obama initiated and signed is partially to blame.  The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) estimates that 32 million previously uninsured Americans will acquire health insurance as a result of Obamacare.  The addition of millions of new patients into the system could cause an estimated shortage of over 39,000 physicians by 2015.

The New Healthcare Plan is Not the Only Reason for the Potential Problem

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How Deductibles Are Structured On Medical Malpractice Insurance Policies

Many insurance carriers offer deductibles on medical malpractice insurance policies in today’s market. Many doctors may not realize that there is more to a deductible than just the dollar amount. Many policies do not carry a deductible, but it is almost always an option. Generally speaking deductibles can be $2,500, $5,000, $10,000 or even more. Deductibles on the high end of the spectrum (say $10,000 and above) may require a letter of credit from a financial institution to ensure that should a claim arise, the physician or surgeon will have funds available to pay the deductible payment.

Differences Between Medical Malpractice Insurance Deductibles

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2011 is Here – It is Time to Review Your Medical Malpractice Insurance Coverage

This is a phrase I find myself using on a regular basis as I go through my daily life.  Does it apply to your practice? Many of the physicians that I meet proudly proclaim that they “have coverage” and are “happy with their broker.” The one response or question that I have for them is “what does that broker do for you to keep you happy?” One of the answers I anticipate but typically do not receive is that he or she annually surveys the market for options, coverage enhancements and best pricing available for their medical malpractice insurance. Medical practices are dynamic and the scopes of practice and needs changes on a regular basis. The points of coverage that worked for you 3-5 years ago may be antiquated or under covered by today’s standards. Pricing remains a key component of the decision and what seemed affordable by yesterday’s standards may not be as competitive now.

A medical liability insurance professional can demonstrate his value to his client through a thorough exploration of all options available to the practice and potentially enhance the coverage itself while also perhaps saving the practice in premium cost on their medical malpractice rates. eQuoteMD has a network of affiliated business professionals that may provide even more services to the practice in the interest of maximizing efficiencies and managing overhead. Long term disability coverage, general liability coverage, health insurance, medical supplies and many others are all “common thread” services that eQuoteMD’s network can provide.

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Abbreviated Buyer’s Guide to Physician Medical Malpractice Insurance

The modern medical malpractice insurance marketplace can be filled with questions, confusion and sometimes apprehension. For many doctors, it is very difficult to navigate alone. Understandably, physicians would rather spend their time learning more about their specialty and growing their practice than becoming experts in the expansive and ever-changing world medical malpractice insurance. It is this continuous fluidity that requires constant re-examination of rates, rules (on both the state and federal levels), and the financial viability of individual insurance companies, after all, if there is a claim, it’s important that the medical liability insurance company can actually deliver on its promises to doctors.

For a physician or surgeon, there are three main topics to focus on when purchasing medical malpractice insurance; Company Financials, Contract Details, and Type of Insurance Company. While no doctor needs to be an expert on these three subjects, it will ultimately serve to protect and assist a doctor who has a basic understanding regarding each of them. [Read more →]

Don’t Know Your Tail from Your Nose?

Many physicians and office administrators are confused by the terminology used by medical malpractice insurance brokers, and why shouldn’t they be? Most fields have an insider’s lingo used by people that work in the industry. However, the medical malpractice insurance business seems to expect everyone in the healthcare world to understand and crack our secret codes.

Believe it or not most medical professional liability insurance policies are fairly simple compared to other types of insurance. These are basic liability policies with a couple of extra bells and whistles. A few of the commonly used terms that may be unfamiliar are: [Read more →]

The Limits and Upper Limits of Medical Malpractice Insurance Coverage in New York

Many doctors seem to have questions regarding the limits of liability that they need to carry for their medical liability insurance while practicing in New York. Simply put, if a doc has hospital admitting privileges in a hospital in New York, he or she needs to carry $1.3m/$3.9m limits. If they do not have admitting privileges, they can opt for the lower (and more importantly, less expensive) limits of $1m/$3m.

What Malpractice Insurance Limits Should a Doctor Choose?

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Tax Extenders Signed into Law

The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 has been signed into law. Physicians, Surgeons and other high net worth individuals had been on the edge of their seats, knowing that if the Act had not been signed, tax rates could rise significantly in the New Year. However, this Act extends Bush-era tax cuts for tax years 2011 and 2012 for all taxpayers, in all tax brackets. Doctors are already faced with high premiums for their medical malpractice insurance and rising costs of managing a physician office.  As a physician, the two provisions that will pose the greatest impact and savings for you are:

  • The top tax rate for all individual taxpayers would remain at 35%.
  • Capital gains and qualified dividends would continue to be taxed at 15%.

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