Telemedicine Malpractice Insurance is similar to Hospitalist Malpractice Insurance

June 07, 2016

In the years and years of working in the Medical Malpractice Insurance industry I have experienced many recurring issues in underwriting,: changes in underwriting guidelines towards different specialties.

With Telemedicine on the rise:…I believe the opinions about the efficacy of telemedicine are changing. I copied this from notes that I took at a Telemedicine Association conference years ago: We offer telehealth coaching and phone discussions with MDs at my shop. The catch is the doctor's "don't treat or diagnose" over the phone, but they will offer advice and second opinions... which always seems to me like skirting the line. They can't prescribe anything over the phone though…..the cost is a factor (which is driving the growth of this niche)….It's cheaper because they'll pay the phone nurses about $10 an hour than floor nurses (…The telemed services work for older populations who are home and use their phone a lot. Young people are phone-resistant, so, they will start to (and are in fact doing this) accessing physicians through portals and via skype ‘google places’ sessions. (from the JAMA) one physician writes: In my experience, where I really see Telehealth really working is for mental health and addiction issues.

Same with medication compliance issues and preventative health- weight loss/obesity/DM Type II management...”a health-coaching check in call with an anxiety patient who goes to the ER 2x a month when he can't sleep- sometimes a check in call will prevent an ER visit. So them paying $45 an hour to do a 45-minute phone check-in beats paying $1500 for unnecessary ER visits and workups. But for that to work it has to be system wide, payer, payee and facility all on board for the cost structure to come out ahead.”

These observations are five years old in that time telemedicine has become mainstream across all specialties. Obviously not surgical but many many diagnosis consultations follow-up disease management acute-care and specialty consultations are facilitated through the use of telemedicine, which means groups are adding physicians (rosters of physicians) and the malpractice policies need to be able to accommodate the different ways in which these groups grow.

Administration of Telemedicine groups:

There are challenges administering medical groups, the cost of tail insurance which is triggered every time a physician cancels off of a claims made malpractice insurance policy can quickly escalate the cost of managing a growing medical group’s expenses.

Even as the pace of large institutional medical practices rises: [ in fact twice as many physicians now practice in these large groups from what was five years earlier;] we are seeing a rush of entrepreneurial medical practices present to our agency coast to coast. Entrepreneurial medical practice models rely on competitive, affordable premiums. The Doctors’ Insurance Agency now has four specialized companies writing telemedicine, start up urgent care and concierge primary care practices, with underwriters who understand the risk, pricing and coverage conditions of these medical malpractice insurance policies.

Hospitalist, Telemedicine, Consulting and Concierge practices utilizing telemedicine.

Telemedicine has been gradually growing.. (and more recently,, building, increasingly fast on the healthcare scene, in many forms.) Our agency, which specializes in medical and professional medical liability insurance has seen telemedicine physicians every week in each specialty.
Today’s specialty, Pediatric Cardiology, Nephrologists providing acute care, and ICU support telemedically…all growing areas of telemedicine.
The Journal of American medicine surveyed eight thousand patients and compared in person doctor visits with telehealth visits and found that there are not significant differences in the quality of care and importantly the results revealed that telehealth did not have higher rates of missed diagnosis or treatment failure.

Insuring Telemedicine Groups

We provide Telemedicine Medical Malpractice Insurance in every state in the country. We’re writing policies to protect individual physicians ‘moonlighting’ working in the evenings and weekends as independent contractors for medical groups, providing remote telemed services. With high resolution monitors easy to use people can age at home with more independence by connecting with physicians or paramedical providers the views of telemedicine. But these practices can only grow if the malpractice insurance industry continues to respond as it is late with individual solo telemedicine policies and large well-capitalized institutional telemedicine groups that need on board physicians without costly delays or prohibitive tail premiums.

Increases Access to Care.

Telemedicine allows specialists to see more patients regardless of where the patients are located. Medical groups can set up satellite offices staffed by medical assistants, x-ray technicians phlebotomists and nurses providing virtual face-to-face consultations, using technology like Google places based kind of Skype or other have a protected approved reliable electronic lines which allow for secure, encrypted reliant transmittal of data. Many health insurance plans are successfully incorporating telehealth into their benefit designs. More than 70% of doctor visits according to wellness Council of America can be handled safely and effectively using telemedicine technology

The Doctors Insurance Agency has been insuring telemedicine for over 10 years. some specialties that had an earlier start : radiology dermatology and psychiatry. The Doctors Insurance Agency has been putting together telemedicine medical professional malpractice plans that contemplate the need for large roster staffing and accurate pricing models.

Accurate pricing models contemplate the important issue and expensive challenge of tail insurance for physicians that leave the telemedicine groups.And, The Doctors’ Company continues its work nationally in the area of Patient Safety. In hospitalist medicine and now working on understanding Telehealth, The Doctors’ Company and the Doctors’ Insurance Agency work to provide telemedicine Malpractice insurance policy that scale as the groups take on new practitioners contracts provide the services necessary for these new benefit plans. By developing plans that provide tail insurance for telemedicine physicians that cancel the Doctor’s Insurance Agency is a part of this rapid growth and evolution.