Are you covered by the Spa where you work?

December 16, 2013

Cosmetic Nurses purchasing their own liability insurance:

There are two reasons that we experience cosmetic nurses purchasing their own professional liability insurance. The first is that they assumed they were covered by the supervising physician or the entity for which they work.

The second reason is: they are finding that their services are in high demand and the business is growing with multiple contracts with different Health Care Organizations.

Are you covered by the Spa where you work?

If you are signing new contracts, you may be asked to carry your own malpractice insurance. In some instances, your employer, or the physicians or medispas with whom you contract may even think that you don’t need professional liability insurance. We have insured a Plastic Surgeon in California for years for his own medical malpractice insurance. And, after contracting with three nurse practitioners and three registered cosmeticians, all of whom were providing injections and laser services, it was found that indeed, they were not technically covered by the professional liability insurance that covers the center. Each Nurse Practitioners, because of their advanced level of education and training, and their ability to practice relatively unsupervised, the malpractice insurance carriers will require that they carry their own malpractice coverage. usually, with companies like Medical Protective or The Doctors’ Company, you must make sure they complete a separate application and go through underwriting for professional liability insurance in California and many states. Once approved, they will be covered as a shared limit ancillary/paramedical provider.

Do not take anyone’s word for it:

We have had many nurses rely on the word of the physician supervisor or the administrator when seeking answers about their medical malpractice insurance coverage. We think it is best that you ask to see a copy of your proof of insurance to ensure you are properly named on the policy. Our agents have been working in this business for years, most of the tough situations occur when not enough questions are asked.

Let us examine your certificate of malpractice insurance covering you as an allied healthcare provider:

if you simply scan and email your certificate of insurance to us showing that you are covered for medical malpractice insurance as a Nurse Practitioner or Cosmetic Nurse and we will review it for you.

One Doctor, many Nurses, not enough insurance

We have another Plastic Surgeon and Dermatologist who were practicing together and were using eleven nurses to grow their medispa business. Actually, I think this situation started innocently enough…a supplement to a thriving Plastic Surgery Policy in which Over the course of three year, grew from one location and just one aesthetician to four offices and eleven nurses (five of whom were nurse practitioners) . Under most circumstances the medispa policy can be expanded, coverage added by endorsement, separate limits added by submitting appropriate applications (as mentioned above, a separate application for the nurse practitioner and just disclose the license, name and location of the registered nurses or cosmeticians working at the spa. The malpractice policies are written to share limits with one limit per incident, or they can be changed to issue a separate limit for each provider.

Employed Medical Aestheticians are covered, sharing limits

Both of these situations stated above lead to distrust by not only the employees and nurses contracting with the MediSpa Physician owners, but the malpractice insurance carriers non renewed them for not following the affirmative duties under the policy requirements, which is to disclose this change in their practice structure.

Administrative, Billing Fraud Liability Insurance

If you are practicing aesthetic procedures, one question that should be considered is: What happens in the event of a licensing action and you need to hire an attorney? What about the additional expenses or lost wages associated with going through a trial? Would those types of bills be paid under your current plan? There are separate policies which can be added to cover administrative actions taken against physicians practicing in this aesthetic industry; additionally, as the practice of aesthetic and wellness merges together, the lines between an elective spa practice and a true health care organization/facility begin to blur together; which means that you could be held accountable to the same standard of maintaining confidential records and safeguarding data from any breach. A breach of data for a medispa practice, or an allegation of fraudulent billing to payers (including the government (Medicare), will result in long, drawn out investigations, fines, administrative defense costs and penalties. The Doctors Insurance Agency provides Medicare billing fraud insurance and cyber data liability insurance to prevent you from having to defend against these costly allegations alone, without representation.

Laser surgery injuries spurring more lawsuits against non-doctors

More patients are filing claims after being burned or scarred or otherwise somehow harmed during laser surgeries performed by non-doctors, a new study shows.

Researchers found 75 out of 175 legal cases involving laser hair or scar removal were filed against practitioners other than a physician operating the laser. Additionally, the legal claims against a nurse, medical assistant, technician or "intern" doubled between 2008 and 2011.

There is more attention to the need for supervision and training of non-medical doctors; The liability is going to rise to the doctor; the ramifications of these lawsuits are that the losses will accumulate against the physician’s malpractice loss experience. Once the losses begin to accumulate, underwriters will be forced to take action against the premium, resulting in increased cost and lost discounts for up to five years with these physicians.

Laser procedures can be performed for months without incident, and then, the risk of eye injury and burns presents itself for the non-medical doctor working for a physician in the physician’s center. Of course, the lawsuit is going to attach to the physician’s medical spa and to physician’s own medical malpractice insurance policy.

Take the time to analyze your policy, Compare the Schedule of Benefits to your firm’s current policy. Call us so that we can help you determine what type of insurance you need.