Five years ago, who would have thought telemedicine care would skyrocket, becoming a frequently used assessment and patient-provider communication method? Yet, this reality creates unique liability risks for healthcare providers in every medical specialty.
Let’s look at why protecting your practice with telehealth malpractice insurance is so important.
Why Healthcare Providers Should Invest in Telehealth Malpractice Insurance
All healthcare providers, including physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and others, should have telehealth malpractice insurance or a rider (add-on or amendment) on their existing policies to protect them in case of litigation. Malpractice claims based on in-person clinical visits or telehealth appointments via various web-based platforms address the same issues: physician error, substandard care, missed diagnoses, and more. Plus, telehealth adds risk that in-office appointments do not pose: Did the patient’s condition or chief complaint warrant assessment and treatment that a telehealth visit could not provide?
Accordingly, healthcare providers must protect their income, assets, licenses, reputations, property, and employees’ livelihood with telehealth medical malpractice insurance coverage. This coverage must be appropriate to their specific specialties and laws in the state or state where they practice and hold licensure.
State regulations may have changed both during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, in which providers experienced an almost exponential uptick in telehealthcare across all medical specialties. So, providers should check with their insurance carriers to ensure any existing telehealth riders are appropriate for post-pandemic needs and laws. If there are no riders, then healthcare providers should purchase them.
Education on Best Telehealth Practices
Besides delivering the malpractice coverage you need, an A-list insurance carrier educates providers on the safest ways to deliver medical care remotely. Aspects of telemedicine you, as the provider, may not think of are:
- HIPAA compliance which protects sensitive patient information
- Whether your license allows you to deliver care across state lines (your patient may be located in Texas while you are in a bordering state)
- Data breaches and what happens if your patient’s medical record is compromised or lost
Frankly, there are a myriad of issues that can crop up when healthcare providers use telemedicine services to care for their patients. However, telemedicine also has many benefits, including ease of use for both patient and provider. As such, providers should take advantage of the education a reputable insurance carrier can provide to determine how to deliver care remotely and how to protect against malpractice litigation.
Malpractice Insurance for Telehealth in Texas
Telehealth is here to stay, as are the risks for malpractice lawsuits across every healthcare specialty. At eQuoteMD, we provide medical malpractice insurance, which is customized to each individual provider. As a brokerage, we do not sell one product, but rather, we research offers from many A++ insurance companies to give you the best possible coverage at rates you can afford.
Plus, we are here 24/7 to answer questions you may have about your policy and telehealth best practices.