Healthcare professionals do their best to provide quality service possible. But, even the most responsible physicians must understand their medical malpractice insurance claim policies. And, lawsuits happen … ($3.45 billion of it in 2015) ..., justified or not.
That's because patients behave unpredictably. In other cases, a patient claim may have well-founded justification. To err is human, and even the best practices make mistakes.
So, medical providers must carry and understand medmal insurance. They must also know what to do when a patient files a malpractice claim too.
Select the Right Insurance Policy
Strong legal representation makes it happen. When selecting an insurance carrier, ask your medical malpractice insurance broker about the …
claims process success rate
average claim adjudication time
average indemnity payment amount and
attorneys who will represent your practice
How to Make a Medical Malpractice Insurance Claim
Of all physicians, 7.4% had a malpractice claim from 1991 through 2005. Why, then, do physicians, surgeons, and other medical providers pay for malpractice insurance? They pay those premiums to use their medmal insurance policy and avoid financial devastation.
Understand Medmal Insurance Claim Procedure to Move Quickly
Physicians must move quickly at the first hint of a malpractice claim. A health care worker, in this situation, should immediately contact his or her insurance broker. They train to efficiently serve medical liability insurance carrier legal claim.
Such responsible brokers respect the confidentiality of their policyholders. And, as a professional, the broker and his or her legal team can help you keep your situation under wraps.
Safeguarding information holds the patient plaintiff, pushing for substantial compensation, at bay. They are skilled and knowledgeable, and they know how to use any and all information against your practice.
Seek Guidance from Legal Council & Your Medmal Insurance Broker
Information leaks and improperly communicated information can devastate a solid defense. Any such information, in the hands of a prosecuting attorney, can take a twist against your defense.
All communication, spoken, written, or otherwise, must go through a trained legal representative. Proper chain-of-command, like this, keeps a defendant from an unfavorable decision. Moreover, it helps secure financial recovery from your insurance claim.
Insurance brokers understand risk management, so get to know yours. Because, a competent medmal insurance broker works with legal partners specializing in physician malpractice cases.
Consequently, they have the experience and know-how to communicate with the patient. They also know how to deal with prosecuting attorneys and other legal counsel.
Never "Clean Up" Patient Records
Desperation leads many defendants to try some post-claim cleanup. But, medical experts, even when innocent, should never alter patient records. Transparency with your broker and attorney will cut potential tangles.
Take Advantage of Paid Insurance Benefits
Remember that an insurance policy turns claim responsibility over to the insurance carrier. So, effective claim defense keeps them and your practice in the clear.
That's because successful brokers and legal teams use tried-and-true protocols to handle claims. They want it to move quickly and efficiently too.
Handling Requests for Information
The plaintiff lawyer's practice will send you, the professional in question, information and requests. It may request medical records, and it will send a copy of a summons and petition received.
Always consult with your insurance claims broker before responding to these requests. A well-written narrative, in the right legal terms, can drive court decision in your favor. Likewise, leave all depositions and communication in the hands of legal representatives.
Keep Copies of All Documents for Your Broker
Just as the plaintiff and legal council request documents, so will a broker. In addition, your insurance policy advisor will request …
other supporting documentation
a confirmation of receipt of the claim
a request for additional information
Timely responses keep your whole defense and insurance team ahead of the patient's plaintiff.
Act Quickly & Work Closely with Your Broker & Legal Council
Quick and transparent action on a patient claim can get your medical practice the best insurance policy benefits. Also, keep careful records, and share all documents with both your broker and legal counsel. Knowing the right procedure can keep medical malpractice insurance claims moving quickly with minimal risk.