Telemedicine is today’s unique way to communicate with your physician and receive diagnosis and treatment advice through information technology devices like smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Allowing physicians and other providers to deliver services, answer questions, and keep in touch with patients, telemedicine can create serious liability problems, just as inpatient medical visits can. So, medical malpractice insurance is worth the possible extra cost to the medical community. Here’s why.
Telemedicine Can Heal…Or Harm
Telemedicine can deviate from normal standards of medical care just as traditional clinic visits and services can. A physician can misdiagnose, miscommunicate, make a medication error, omit a critical diagnostic test, or neglect to ensure a patient gets needed treatments in a timely fashion.
In other words, whether consulting in person or over the Internet, a healthcare provider can be held liable for not doing due diligence. While telemedicine lawsuits currently are few, they do happen, and the awards and settlements can be substantial, threatening a doctor’s reputation, income, and assets, along with his or her reputation.
Is Telemedicine Malpractice Insurance Worth the Price?
The short answer is, yes, any healthcare provider who renders services on a web-based platform should carry a telemedicine insurance rider on his or her current malpractice medical insurance policy. In fact, sometimes riders are already in place, depending on the policy the provider has purchased.
In any case, physicians should discuss their medical malpractice insurance needs–including telehealth coverage–with an experienced insurance broker. A broker, such as eQuoteMD, shops many insurance companies across the United States to find the best malpractice coverage at the best rates. The broker is knowledgeable in what each state requires of a licensed physician and how treating patients across state lines via telemedicine visits can impact professional liability.
Additionally, the right insurance carrier can help the physician know the technology requirements for confidential telehealth visits and the best practices used when communicating with and treating patients over the Internet, including:
- HIPAA-compliant video conferencing between provider and patient to ensure privacy rights are fully protected
- Whether a state requires face-to-face telehealth appointments
- What you can and cannot prescribe via telehealth visits
- How to protect against the problem of data breaches and what to do if one occurs
Overall, telemedicine can be more complex than it appears at first glance. So, physicians and other providers who deliver telemedicine services must be sure they are adequately protected by medical malpractice insurance, whatever the specialty and state.
The Best Telemedicine Malpractice Insurance
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.