Is My Tail Covered When I join a Telemedicine Organization?

June 01, 2018

This is one of the most commonly asked questions of by our Telemedicine Specialists. Understandably so…because….One of the most important costs to contain as you develop and implement your telemedicine organization is the mandatory (and sometimes prohibitively high) cost of Medical Professional Liability Insurance. And, one of the most common obstacles in the way of recruiting new physicians to the organization is the concerns about covering their Tail.

Yes, tail is included in the ‘roster of physician’ or ‘schedule of physician’ structure of these policies. (if they are insured by the right company), that understands telehealth and the growing staff that needs liability protection.

The Named Insured, should be the Healthcare Organization (the Telehealth Organization) It is important to insure the organization and any subsidiary corporations in the Telemed, limited liability companies or fictitious business names. It’s also necessary to insure each physician or mid-level provider or allied medical professional involved with the delivery of the telemedicine service.

The Telemedicine Medical Malpractice Insurance Policy should have the Scheduled Physician or Blanket Physician Endorsement. These policies can be structured in a way that provides coverage for each scheduled Doctor.

The scheduled physician endorsement or the blanket physician endorsement is the key to successful telemedicine medical professional liability insurance policy. This endorsements limits the cost of onboarding, and gives you as the owner or MSO managing the Telemed business, the leverage necessary to recruit new physicians to a telemedicine group; They can join your group and know that their tail is provided by the policy.

The blanket physician endorsement and the scheduled roster allows you to onboard physicians and in the recruitment process, you can guarantee them that they are covered when claims are presented naming them for services they delivered prior to their termination date.

By definition, Tail means (Extended Reporting Coverage)

Coverage that protects the physician against all claims that arise from professional services performed while the claims-made policy was in effect, but which were reported after the termination of the policy. Some insurers offer this feature free of charge for retiring doctors who meet certain requirements. And, other policies are written with tail baked in to the premium charged annually (this is occurrence policies)

A modified claims-made policy provides tail to doctors in the group when they cancel off of the policy. This means that there is an element of occurrence built into the policy (that is to say tail is provided for the doctors on the “scheduled physician endorsement”

When a Telemedicine doctor is added to a policy on an endorsement, they are included in the broad definition of insured for any claim that is presented based on services that you provide between your initial start date and your termination date.

All physicians on the schedule are covered in this manner. This type of policy is common in telemedicine, hospitalist medicine, urgent care and emergency medical groups;

because these kinds of healthcare organizations require such a large, evolving staff, it is essential to assure ongoing coverage to doctors that cancel off of the policy.

Telemedicine policies (like the healthcare organizations mentioned above) pay for their medical professional liability policies by counting revenue and consultations; it is the ongoing relationship with the specialty professional liability insurance company, and the fact that they are collecting the premium from the actual medical service (rather than counting just the number of physicians) that helps to pay for the ongoing cost of covering claims against cancelled doctors.

The Doctors’ Insurance Agency works in this niche within the insurance industry every hour of the day. We would love to work with you to develop the right Telemedicine Professional Liability Insurance Policy.