Telemedicine and Medical Malpractice Insurance

August 11, 2017

The Doctors Insurance Agency is providing Health Care Providers and facilities with affordable, appropriately priced medical malpractice insurance.Again this week I learned as I continued this immersion into providing Medical Professional Liability Insurance for physicians, mid-level providers and allied healthcare providers that affordability is key in these early years - starting up a telehealth practice. You can't spend every available earned reimbursement paying your malpractice provider.

Start up telemedicine organizations are watching every dollar (as any entrepreneurial business). They are working hard to promote their business, reinvesting hard earned dollars in digital and paper marketing, traveling in buses and trains to attend shows, conventions and scientific meetings; often working in the margins of the day to provide the service that they are working so hard to promote.

How can Telemedicine Practices control the cost of Medical Malpractice Insurance?

The Doctors Insurance Agency can underwrite and bind the Telemedicine Malpractice Insurance Policy for as little as $2000 per year – (depending on the size of the practice).

For limits ranging from $250,000 to $1,000,000 per medical negligence claim.

This fits some Telehealth Models perfectly: as some telemedicine organizations simply want to supplement their clinical practice and provide online services through their medical portal to doctors in their local county. These policies can range from $2,000 to $5,500 (and they can allow you to grow your patient base interstate even nationally!)

Others are working hard to develop a true national model ; National telemedicine business models must find liability policies that allow them to grow and (using their business terminology), these policies must ‘scale’ well as they grow from small start up to larger healthcare business models. Doctors must find flexible and accessible policies that allow them to onboard doctors into their organization at very little to no additional premium.

The Individual or small group medical malpractice policy providing insurance (liability insurance) in a single county as they just begin to grow their practice base is affordable. Similarly, an organization that is planning to roll but doesn't have the consultation count is also a minimum premium policy proximally $5-$7000 for 1 million 3 million and these policies allow you to add doctors at very little cost.

The Doctors Insurance Agency has relationships with the specialty carriers and understands these types of coverages and premium. There are over half a dozen financially strong and committed malpractice insurance carriers who can provide these policies. These policies use creative underwriting and appropriate pricing models. Without these pricing models, the policies rate the premium by the ‘head’, counting doctors, just as in the emergency medicine business these policies can very quickly price these groups out of the market.

The Doctors Insurance Agency has worked hard to develop policies that are affordable and sustainable for our many (over 4,000 physician clients and healthcare organizations.

The only concern should be the success of your telemedicine organization …You should be focusing on the quality of physician that you attract and the stability of the insurance you provide. It is of course is important to be mindful of the states regulatory direction on licensure in the practice of medicine

In Modern Healthcare, I read (from March of 2014 written by

By Andis Robeznieks | March 22, 2014 ....10 physicians who practice telestroke medicine and teleneurology in the Mayo Clinic's Phoenix telemedicine hub either have medical licenses or are working toward obtaining them in four states besides Arizona. The law doesn't require it. But Mayo has decided that's the best way to go for its program.

Many more doctors soon may have to apply for medical licenses in other states as their medical organizations move into the rapidly growing field of telemedicine. That may become somewhat easier because the Federation of State Medical Boards is working on an interstate compact to streamline the process for obtaining multiple state licenses.

Soon boards will vote on adopting the federation's proposed telemedicine policy codifying standards and principles for state boards and legislatures in developing their own policies and regulations. The federation proposal includes two key principles.

One is that whether a physician and patient have a digital or a face-to-face encounter, there should be no differences in the standards of care.

Two: “the practice of medicine occurs where the patient is located at the time telemedicine technologies are used,” the proposal states.

Requiring doctors to be licensed in every state where their telemedicine patients are located is not being received well by some telemedicine players.

It would involve significant costs,….. Between 22% and 25% of U.S. doctors currently hold multiple state licenses. The costs associated with procuring multiple licenses may total up to $300 million a year, and that will increase as more doctors begin to provide telemedicine services in other states, he said.

The Practice of telehealth is still evolving and whether you are single, psychiatrist practicing in your home office or the rolling specialty surgical consultation telehealth organization with capital investment in national exposure and resources, it is prudent course to be sure the physicians are licensed state patient is located. The Dr.'s insurance agency works with policies to make the malpractice portion of your business challenge affordable so that you can invest in the proper licensing credentialing and training and continue understanding the practice of telemedicine.