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Liability Concerns for Healthcare Staffing Organizations

Gallagher Healthcare :: Industry Insights
By Dean Gereau | 3/5/2014

Healthcare staffing organizations (HSOs) face several additional levels of liability concern when compared to more traditional healthcare practices. The customary needs of a practice, such as the following, are supplemented with exposures associated with off-site liability, contractual indemnification concerns and high volumes of provider turnover.

  1. Limits of liability that are appropriate for any relevant states
  2. Complementing lines of coverage for non-medical liability exposure
  3. Coverage structures that track based on an organization’s risk appetite
  4. Ultimately, a program’s final price tag

Healthcare staffing entities, such as long term contract staffing operations and locum tenens agencies, must carry policies which provide liability coverage for providers working in settings not owned or controlled by their agency. Short-term locum agencies may assign one provider to several different facilities over the course of a month. The resulting potential lack of familiarity with a given facility and/or absence of long-term patient rapport can raise questions when presented to many standard carriers and makes more flexible surplus line carriers the norm in this industry.  

This is not always the case, as companies with long-term contract staffing arrangements do maintain relatively static provider rosters at their client facilities. However, both long-term and short-term HSOs face several unique challenges, due to their inherent contractual nature and potential for large geographic footprints.  All the items listed below must be dealt with on some level by every HSO. Gallagher Healthcare is uniquely positioned to offer industry-leading insight and expertise on these topics.

  • Rating methodology: “How is my premium calculated?” 
    • Explanations of per day, FTE, patient encounter and loss rated pricing
  • State Patient Compensation Funds: “Where are they and what do they mean?”
  • Medical liability and regulatory laws that vary by state
  • Identifying appropriate contractual pricing to remain competitive while maintaining adequate funding for your liability program.
  • Implications of working with providers who are independent contractors
  • Ancillary coverage
    • General liability, workers compensation, excess liability, etc.
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