Your medical practice is an important part of your life. If you’ve run your own small practice for many years, you likely have a dedicated group of patients. If you are just starting a practice, you want to build a trusted business.
Business insurance is an important part of your practice’s reputation. Most physicians need to carry comprehensive property and business liability coverage. They also might need business coverage like commercial auto insurance and workers’ compensation.
However, the biggest protection that any physician needs is medical liability protection—also known as malpractice insurance.
As a physician, you do everything you can to ensure that mistakes do not happen. But, occasionally, things can go wrong. A patient may get sicker, or even die because of a poorly performed procedure or bad physician advice. You might face a lawsuit because of your mistake.
In 2012, there were $3.6 billion in malpractice payouts and 12,412 payouts, according to Becker’s Hospital Review. That’s one payout roughly every 45 minutes. Thirty-three percent of malpractice claims related to diagnosis problems. Eighteen percent related to medication mishaps.
It is imperative that you do everything you can to reduce malpractice risks. In a small practice, you may be the person who is ultimately responsible for mistakes. You are also solely responsible for the compliance of the practice.
In order to reduce your risks of malpractice suits in your small practice:
- Don’t attempt to treat or diagnose conditions beyond your field of expertise. Send patients who you believe require specialist treatment to specialists or larger treatment centers.
- Make sure you secure all expensive equipment, tools and drugs that you keep on hand.
- Ask patients about their medical history and keep those records within easy reach. Always keep them on hand during treatment.
- Have all of a patient’s history before you start treatment. Confer with a patient’s former doctors and treatment providers.
- Don’t try to fly blind. If you have trouble making a diagnosis or deciding a treatment plan, don’t be afraid to recommend that a patient seek a second opinion.
There are many other ways to protect your small practice from malpractice claims. You should always follow the line of the law when meeting ethical standards. Strive to provide exemplary service at all times.
You should also make sure that you carry an adequate amount of malpractice insurance. The cost of these plans can vary from location to location and based on your specialty.
You should have enough coverage to meet your risks. It sometimes wouldn’t hurt to round these levels up to provide more of a cushion.
The Joseph A. Britton Agency is here to help you choose the malpractice plan that is best for your small practice. By visiting our website, you can learn more about how malpractice coverage benefits small practices. If you have questions, call us today at (800) 462-3401