March 13, 2013
With the increasing use of technology in medical practices today, cyber defense is becoming a huge area of emerging liability. Most leading malpractice insurance carriers offer coverage – commonly referred to as MedDefense – to cover expenses that might arise from a claim related to a breach of patient protected health information. However, this coverage is often rolled into a practice’s medical malpractice insurance and has very low limits, usually covering nothing more than the cost of legal defense.
Any practice that is using an EMR/EHR needs to re-evaluate and plan to have coverage for cyber liability and medical defense to help with audit fines and correction costs. Medical practices need an insurance professional who truly understands this type of coverage and the extensive damages that can result from a HIPAA audit or cyber lawsuit. In addition to legal expenses, practices must plan for expenses associated with:
- Business interruption
- Fines and penalties
- Corrective action costs
Any one of these can seriously impact your practice’s cash flow for an extended period of time. It could even put you out of business entirely!
If you’ve had a policy for a long time, you owe it to yourself to have it reviewed to determine:
1) Are there new liabilities that you need to consider?
2) Do you have coverage for things that no longer fit with your practice’s current or long-term goals?
3) Are you under-insured in specific areas?
Even if you can’t save premium, you can improve the value of what you’re already spending by shifting your premium dollars. With a lot of competition in the marketplace, you can shop for an agent who really wants to work with you to maximize what you’re spending on your insurance coverages. And, when every dollar counts, it’s a great idea to get a second opinion to see what options are available to reduce liability and/or insurance costs.
Once you’ve identified what your needs are, you want to align yourself with the right insurance carrier for the business you’re in now and where you want to go in the future. Then, as part of your risk management process, you should meet with your insurance professional annually to review your insurance policies and ensure that you have the proper and adequate coverage for your practice.
If you want to learn more about this topic, tune in to my blog talk radio program MORE For Your Practice today at 4:30 pm Eastern Time. I am interviewing Jeri Cascio of Oros Risk Solutions about the liabilities related to medical practice compliance. Jeri is a dedicated professional insurance agent specializing in medical risk management. Focused exclusively on physicians and other health care professionals, Jeri has a good understanding of what practices really need.
I want to thank Jeri for her contributions to today’s blog post. You can find more information on this topic by contacting Jeri at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling her at 407.443.5381. Visit her website at www.orosrisk.com.
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