Healthcare risk management is about thinking ahead. To cut your risks, you have to be prepared for unexpected costs, lawsuits, and accidents that could derail your practice.
For instance, each year doctors have a 7.4 percent chance of being sued in a medical malpractice lawsuit. The legal fees from a malpractice lawsuit could be enough to force many small practices into debt or to close their doors. So how do you plan for these risks?
To cover their biggest risks, many medical practices have a risk management plan that includes small business insurance (to cover legal costs) as well as policies and procedures that help to minimize the risk of accidents, data breaches, and mistakes. Here are five risks to plan for:
Risk #1: Mistakes.
Malpractice claims / professional mistakes.
Depending on the type of healthcare you provide, you'll face various malpractice risks — all of them potentially devastating. A psychiatrist could be sued for ineffective treatment, a general practitioner for misdiagnosis, a surgeon for wrongful death. To protect their practice from a costly malpractice claim, medical professionals typically invest in Malpractice Insurance.
Risk #2: Data breaches.
Data breaches (and HIPAA violations).
Healthcare providers must take great care to protect patient data and fulfill their HIPAA / HITECH requirements. Whether it's from accidentally disclosing patient information, a software malfunction, or a cyber attack from a hacker, a data breach (and subsequent HIPAA fine) could be costly for a small healthcare practice.
Risk #3: Client injuries.
Incidental injuries / slip-and-fall injuries.
A medical office faces a revolving door of visitors, including patients, deliverymen, and other third parties that can be injured on your property. Accidents like these are random and expensive, which is why small businesses often have General Liability Insurance to cover slip-and-fall injury lawsuits.
Risk #4: Employee injuries.
Worker injury and illness.
Your staff could get injured or ill from work they do. Healthcare workers can develop latex allergies, strain their backs, or become sick from a patient's serious illness. When an employee is injured or develops a work-related illness, they can file a Workers' Comp claim. Workers' Compensation Insurance (aka Workman's Comp) may cover their medical costs, sick leave, and lost wages.
Risk #5: Billing issues.
We don't need to tell you that dealing with health insurance companies can be convoluted. Medical billing is a labyrinth. Billing complications can lead to cash flow problems, and month-to-month shortages can be enough to bankrupt some smaller practices. Small practices need to take extra care to make sure their billing is streamlined.
Each year, insureon helps hundreds of doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals find business insurance, which can offer financial protection for some of their top risks. Whether you're looking for malpractice coverage or slip-and-fall insurance for your office, you can use insureon's easy online insurance application and receive free insurance quotes.