The medical services that physician groups provide expose them to an array of potential risks, including some possibly hefty liability perils. Several companies in Massachusetts offer robust insurance for physician groups that can help groups protect themselves from a number of the risks they face.
Policies that offer insurance for physician groups are highly specialized commercial policies. Not only is insurance for healthcare providers generally complex, but these policies have to be crafted so that they protect both multiple providers and a healthcare group at large. While the policies are available to groups that need them, they’re hardly a common coverage that even many businesses within the medical field get.
Because these policies are so specialized and complex, it’s particularly important to work with an experienced insurance agent when comparing quotes for this type of insurance. Only a knowledgeable agent who’s helped other physicians groups will be familiar with the nuances of the available coverages and able to provide informed recommendations.
Generally speaking, most Massachusetts medical practices that employ multiple healthcare providers ought to consider a physician group insurance policy. While coverage usually can be obtained individually on a per-provider basis, getting a group-wide policy normally a wiser option.
While multi-provider practices certainly include physician groups that have two or more physicians, even practices with one doctor often have several medical providers. In many cases, a policy can be adapted to cover physician assistants, nurses, midwives and other providers along with doctors, and any solo practice that employs providers like these might still find that this is the best form of insurance to get.
Physician group insurance policies tend to be multifaceted package policies that carry several protections within them. Some important coverages to consider typically include:
In addition to these, physician groups normally also need basic protections like commercial property coverage and general liability coverage. An insurance agent who’s familiar with complex physician group policies can likely also assist with these more broadly purchased protections.
Many physician group insurance policies, but not all of them, are written as claims-made policies. This normally means a policy determines whether a certain incident is covered based on the chosen coverages and limits in place when the claim is made -- and they usually don’t factor in when the incident actually occurred. Most of these policies cover claims made after the policy’s effective date or a stipulated retroactive date.
In contrast to claims-made policies, occurrence policies base coverage on the protections and limits that are in place at the time of an incident. Since malpractice claims are sometimes filed well after an incident occurs, claims-made policies tend to be more common than occurrence ones.
Many liability lawsuits end up being settled before the cases reach court, which leaves the question of who decides whether to take a settlement offer if one is made. The person who makes this decision is outlined in most physician group policy’s documentation. The group administrator, physician involved or insurance company might be granted the authority to accept or decline a settlement.
Groups that want maximum control over any settlement they’re offered typically should seek out a policy that gives them and the providers involved the ability to accept or decline a settlement offer. A knowledgeable agent can probably help find such a policy.
For help insuring a multi-provider medical practice in Massachusetts, contact the independent insurance agents at Roger Keith & Sons Insurance. Our agents are familiar with policies that offer insurance for physician groups, and we’re ready to assist your practice.