Archives for April, 2011

Video – Difference Between Defense Inside and Outside the Limits of Liability

“Ask eQuoteMD, with Tim Ryan.” A medical malpractice insurance video blog question and answer session to help physicians have a better understanding of their coverage options. eQuoteMD provides quality solutions for medical malpractice insurance to doctors, surgeons, clinics, hospitals and facilities across the United States.

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Doctors “Going Bare” in Florida – Without Medical Malpractice Insurance

Going Bare - Without Florid Medical Malpractice Insurance

The Florida medical malpractice insurance market has gone through periods of a very hard market, causing significant financial strain for physicians and surgeons. Prior to Florida tort reform being put in place, Florida medical malpractice insurance premiums were some of the highest for physicians in the nation. The premiums rose so high during the peak years of the hard market that many physicians opted to “go bare,” meaning they practiced with no medical liability insurance coverage in place. The state of Florida allows physicians to do this as long as they follow the protocols required by the state.

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What is Cyber Liability Malpractice Insurance for Physicians?

Many liability experts are seeing a growing liability with private patient medical information being digital and accessible from the internet. The term insurance professionals use is “Cyber Liability.” In fact the concern has grown large enough that many medical malpractice insurance companies now offer physicians the option to purchase cyber liability medical malpractice insurance. Some medical malpractice insurance carriers offer cyber liability as part of their policy.

Medical malpractice insurance carriers that offer cyber liability insurance policies typically offer limits of liability of $50,000. While this might not be and adequate amount of coverage, it is better than have no coverage. Physicians do have the option to purchase significantly higher limits of liability for cyber liability coverage, however, not typically through their medical malpractice insurance company. Many surplus lines carriers offer significantly higher limits of liability coverage for physicians, hospitals and clinics that have a greater risk. Most cyber liability insurance policies offer protection for electronic medical records, online scheduling, electronic prescription ordering and even patient/doctor email breaches.

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Today’s Topic: Are You Encrypted?

If you are a physician who carries confidential patient information on a laptop, tablet, iPad or other portable devices, please read on.

By now, you probably have been bombarded with articles and reports describing responsibilities of so-called “covered entities” regarding Protected Health Information (PHI).   PHI can appear in many forms: patient letters, patient lists, patient phone numbers and addresses, patient photos, surgeon reports, emails, billing information, lab results, research data, and so forth.

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Safeguard Your Practice with Basic Controls

As a physician, your schedule is more hectic than most.  So, if you are like many doctors, you have probably turned over the financial details of your practice to staff.  In a practice without adequate internal controls, that decision could cost you.  Every practice will vary to some degree, but the following basic controls will go a long way towards ensuring that assets are properly accounted for and safeguarded against potential misappropriation.

  • Bond all appropriate practice employees.
  • Use a bank lockbox for payer and patient deposits.
  • Segregate job responsibilities; the person receiving cash should not be posting payments to patient accounts.
  • Reconcile receipts to sign-in sheets and appointment books on a daily basis.
  • Maintain pre-numbered patient charge tickets and account for the numerical sequence daily.
  • Reconcile daily cash posting to the bank statement.
  • Monitor contractual adjustments – look for unusual trends that don’t fit the pattern of the practice profile.
  • Require physician approvals for all bad debt write offs.
  • Have a physician review and approve all vendor invoices and sign all checks.
  • Forbid the use of a signature stamp.
  • Periodically review endorsements of cancelled checks for any anomalies and investigate accordingly.
  • Ensure proper computer password protection procedures are in place and properly enforced. Employees should only have access to those programs necessary for them to perform assigned job responsibilities.

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The Importance of Risk Management for Medical Malpractice Insurance

Many doctors ask why they should spend the time to take risk management classes offered by their medical malpractice insurance carrier.  The number one reason to do so is to save as much premium as possible on their medical liability insurance.  Most medical malpractice insurance companies offer anywhere from a 5-15 percent discount for completion of the risk management courses.  This premium savings can add up to thousands of dollars.

In the past, medical malpractice insurance companies required physicians to attend live seminars, which took time away from their medical practice and income.  Now, these courses are generally available online, take very little time to complete and may be accomplished outside of practice hours.  Courses are available in many different formats outside of the internet. Most medical malpractice insurance companies offer books with quizzes.

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Video – What is medical malpractice insurance entity coverage?

“Ask eQuoteMD, with Tim Ryan.” A medical malpractice insurance video blog question and answer session to help physicians have a better understanding of their coverage options. eQuoteMD provides quality solutions for medical malpractice insurance to doctors, surgeons, clinics, hospitals and facilities across the United States.

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Medical Liability Insurance Requirements for Pain Management Clinics

Doctor Writing Prescription to Patient at Pain Clinic

Over the past few months, I have begun to notice a large increase in doctors looking for coverage for pain management clinics in the state of Florida. Doctors that are interested in working in a pain management clinic should be aware of some of the laws that are changing to set a standard for this type of care and how it will affect their medical malpractice insurance. Such laws have been created to stop what Florida is calling an increase in “pill mills,” where doctors may see up to 100 patients per day and prescribing large quantities of medication.

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Telemedicine Today and Physician Malpractice Insurance

Finally, telemedicine is catching up to our world of technology and with it telemedicine medical malpractice insurance companies.  Telemedicine has grown significantly in a wide variety of settings:  hospitals and clinics, medical laboratories, doctors’ offices, nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, correctional institutions and most commonly physician’s homes.  Telemedicine offers geographical outreach; its services extend into rural areas across the United States and other healthcare stations around the globe. Telemedicine is also used in disaster relief efforts or threats of nuclear and chemical hazards. Telemedicine offers healthcare anywhere, as long as high speed internet is available, which is a much needed change in the health care industry. A study done in 2003 showed that approximately 350,000 patients used telemedicine services, which shows a rapid increase.

Telemedicine today, is defined as the use of medical information sent from one site to another through electronic communications to improve patients’ health care. Telemedicine is a rapidly developing approach of delivering medicine where medical information is transferred through interactive hardware and/or software media for the purpose of consulting, and sometimes remote medical procedures or examinations. Telemedicine includes a variety of programs and service types provided for the patient. [Read more →]

Video – How to get free tail coverage from your medical malpractice insurance company?

Here at eQuoteMD we are always striving to provide medical professionals with the highest quality of resources available regarding medical malpractice and properly covering your liability exposure. This is where we welcome you to the very first “Ask eQuoteMD with Tim Ryan” question and answer video blog session. Our very own Tim Ryan will be answering your questions on a weekly basis about your medical malpractice insurance coverage needs via video. This is yet another way we remain a nationwide leader for providing solutions to doctors, surgeons, clinics, hospitals and facilities across the United States.

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