Does your medical professional liability insurance policy provide coverage for all risks associated with your practice?
The practice of psychiatry is constantly evolving, causing an increase in liability risks. Recent state mandates for physicians to use electronic health records or electronic prescribing, and the more frequent use of telemedicine as a method of treatment, are some examples of the emerging issues. Additionally, state licensing board complaints are escalating; HIPAA investigations are in the headlines regularly and a privacy breach notification means additional business expense for the practice. As the Chief Underwriting Officer at PRMS, I analyze the probability of claims and collaborate with the risk management and claims staff to assure the professional liability insurance policy provides comprehensive coverage and appropriate limits to protect the psychiatrists’ professional reputation and career.
In April of 2016, PRMS enhanced the policy to include additional coverages and increased limits at no additional cost. Our data show that psychiatrists are more likely to face a licensing board administrative proceeding than a malpractice lawsuit. According to Jean Bates, PRMS Senior Vice President of Claims, the claims range from “failure to report an address change” and “insensitivity to a patient’s needs” to allegations of “fraudulent billing” and “inappropriate prescribing of pain killers.” Licensing boards have a significant impact on the psychiatrist’s professional reputation and career. If you receive a license complaint, contact your insurance carrier to find out if you have administrative defense coverage. PRMS is committed to protecting your professional reputation and career, thus we increased the limit for license defense to $150,000, which we believe is the highest limit available in the market at no additional cost.
Additionally, studies show that violence by patients against psychiatrists is more common than against other physicians. Our new assault coverage limit of $30,000 pays for expenses related to treating your emotional distress, bodily injury and damage to property.
Other additional coverages provided at no further cost include:
- A separate HIPAA defense limit of $50,000 that will pay fines and penalties (where allowed by law)
- A separate Medicare/Medicaid defense limit of $25,000
- Data Breach Expenses coverage of $30,000 to cover the related costs, such as hiring a public relations firm, notifying patients and patient credit monitoring
- Practice Interruption coverage with a limit of $2,500 for an unexpected closure of your practice
- $150,000 liability limit for fire damage
- $100,000 limit for medical payments due to a patient’s bodily injury caused on your premises
The enhanced policy is admitted and approved by the insurance regulators in 33 states and the District of Columbia and pending approval in all others. Follow us on LinkedIn to find out if the PRMS policy has been approved in your state!
I encourage you to review your current insurance program to ensure that it fully protects you and your practice, and that professionals who understand the emerging risks of psychiatric practice manage the program. While I hope that our clients are never in need of these coverages, they can take comfort in knowing that PRMS will be there for them and their practices.
For more information regarding PRMS and the enhanced policy please visit, PsychProgram.com/EnhancedPolicy or call us at (800) 245-3333.
Click here for a full list of features and benefits of The Psychiatrists’ Program.