Protecting yourself from liability is one of the most important things you should do as a physician when changing your practice or starting to provide an additional service. Thanks to modern technology, patients who cannot physically visit their doctor can now receive diagnoses, treatment advice, and prescriptions via telemedicine. This raises an interesting question – do you need malpractice insurance for telehealth services?
The short answer is yes. Let’s take a look at why additional coverage may be necessary and how to go about obtaining it.
Comprehensive Coverage for All Patient Services
According to The Center For Connected Health Policy, there have been a few reported malpractice suits related to telemedicine services. Nevertheless, providers are encouraged to perform due diligence in carrying coverage for virtual, as well as in-person services.
That’s because providers can be held liable for breaching their standard of care if patients are harmed during a telehealth visit due to the provider’s negligent act or omission, miscommunication, misdiagnosis, or even software malfunctions or other technologically-based risks that threaten the patient’s welfare.
Whether medical care is provided in-office, over the phone, or on a web platform, providers have a responsibility to protect their patients and prevent any form of malpractice. As such, providers may have to purchase an additional rider to cover the telemedicine services if it is not already included in their policy.
Therefore, before adding telemedicine to your practice, you should reach out to your malpractice insurer to verify that your current policy covers telemedicine services. If so, it is likely that your carrier has a list of technical requirements and telemedicine best practices they can provide you with.
It is also advisable to discuss whether the policy allows you to practice over state lines, as some policies may not extend beyond the boundaries of the state in which you are licensed. You may need multiple policies if you’re licensed in more than one state. This is important if you are treating patients via telemedicine while they are on vacation or in another location where you are not licensed.
As for telemedicine malpractice coverage cost, your premium may not necessarily increase, as many malpractice insurance binders cover physicians regardless of how they deliver services, and telemedicine may already be considered under your current policy. If your policy is new and you have not been insured for some time, there may be an increase in premium if you are starting a virtual-only practice.
Of course, every insurer is different, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to malpractice insurance coverage for telehealth services. So, if you are unsure of whether you need additional coverage or are concerned that telemedicine will cause your malpractice insurance costs to go up, the best solution is to consult with the medical liability professionals at eQuoteMD.
Malpractice Insurance for Telemedicine Near You
When it comes to obtaining the most affordable telemedicine malpractice insurance coverage for your practice, quotes can help.
We have the largest network of medical malpractice insurance companies in the nation – including admitted carriers, Risk Retention Groups, Surplus Lines companies, A++-rated companies, and more. Our network extends coast to coast into all 50 states and works with any medical specialty.
Since eQuoteMD is not a medical professional liability insurance company and is independent of any insurance company, we advocate for you to find the best rates and the best coverage, no matter your situation.