While you undoubtedly have some form of malpractice insurance already, it may be wise to reexamine and up your policy in a number of different areas, namely regulatory audits and cyber coverage. This is due to the fact that healthcare laws have gone through a sea of change in recent years due to Obamacare, leaving certain healthcare providers vulnerable through the policies that they purchased before these laws were passed. Additions to this policy will cost the average physician around $1,500 to $1,700 per year, which is pennies on the dollar compared to the type of protection it provides and what it will cost you if you aren’t properly covered in these newly reformed areas.
The standard malpractice liability insurance policy will include some form of regulatory Audit / Cyber Coverage, commonly known in the marketplace as billing errors & omissions, medefense and cyberliability. Be sure to ask your insurance agent about the details of this part of your medical malpractice insurance policy. Most standard policies cover up to $100,000 for coverage, but some only cover to that amount on a shared limit basis with other coverages. There are also different terms for different carriers which you should be sure to double check. While some have a $1,000 deductible, others do not. Some will replace the primary limit on their policy with the enhanced limit of $500,000 to $1,000,000, depending on what is purchased, while other carriers will give you the one million dollar limit on top of your primary limit, once the primary limit has been exhausted. When it comes to these aspects of malpractice liability insurance, the devil is truly in the details.
However, most carriers offer some sort of buy up enhancement through specialty carriers to easily increase these limits to either $500,000 or more commonly one million dollars. This protection is essential for large and small healthcare providers with ongoing billing relationships with the government or those who use a network, laptop or have administrative personnel for data management. It will protect against things like RAC audits, traditional Medicare / Medicaid audits, commercial audits for a company like Blue Cross Blue Shield, EMTALA, HIPAA, STARK violations, Cyber network security & privacy, patient notification, cyber extortion & terrorism, fines, fees, penalties and disciplinary charges. It will also cover any audits on your practice for any unknown prior acts known y. So you will certainly get your money’s worth when it comes to coverage and being protected
Beyond talking to your malpractice liability insurance agent about the coverage for regulatory audits and cyber coverage or purchasing a buy up, there are other things you can do to ensure that few if any claims ever occur in the first place, hopefully making the premium on your overall policy a little cheaper. Have all administrators employ complex passwords that are tough for hackers to break, so that data and personal information cannot be easily stolen. These should be a minimum of eight characters, have a capitalized letter and at least one number or symbol like n “@.” While storing information in the cloud is certainly useful, consider and onsite server for all records, making a data breach more difficult, even though it may cost a little more money up front. Doing this, as well as making sure you are properly covered on the audit and cyber liability front are the minor but important steps to alleviate potential claims from bad bookkeeping or stolen information.