As a result of an increased number of lawsuits involving medical malpractice due to poor risk management practices, many professional liability carriers are now offering multiple opportunities for physicians to learn best practices while also earning credits toward their premium. The training focuses on quality assurance through identifying risk, minimizing risk, and reducing the impact when losses occur.1 By implementing strategies for improving existing methods, both the physician and the carrier benefit by reducing the likelihood of loss occurring.
By utilizing an agent, the physician or group can garner information about risk management offerings by specific carrier and make certain that they receive maximum credit toward their renewal. Often times, these programs have deadlines associated with them. The agent can ensure the physician meets the carrier criteria and completes the courses by monitoring the policy and maintaining contact with the physician or group. The amount of credit available varies from carrier to carrier. Physicians should contact their agent to verify what specific programs and credits are offered. The agent will always be able to provide up-to-date information for their client and advise them on upcoming opportunities.
Malpractice carriers recognize that by educating physicians on ways to improve their practice, they inherently reduce the risk of a lawsuit. Currently most carriers offer free online courses and seminars which focus on a particular area of risk management, such as electronic medical records, disclosure, informed consent, prescription errors, and patient safety, to name a few. These courses vary by date offered, length, and premium credit applied which accommodates even the busiest of physicians or physician groups. In addition to premium credit, physicians may also earn continuing medical education (CME) credit applied to their annual requirement for licensing.
In addition to online offerings, most carriers also offer free live seminars to physicians which also focus on areas of risk management. This option offers the unique advantage to the physician of interacting with the presenter. This allows the opportunity to ask specific questions regarding the individual practice. In addition, some carriers offer an on-site assessment which is tailored to the practice and provides valuable insight into whether or not best practices are being adhered to. The risk management specialist will provide a detailed report for the physician outlining the specific areas which need attention. Both of these options typically have a premium credit associated with them.
Risk management is an additional layer of protection against loss for a physician and his or her practice. The agency advantage allows each physician to ensure that they are aware of what their carrier offers and that they are receiving maximum credit towards their renewal premium. At Diederich Healthcare, our highly knowledgeable staff are always ready to help you assess your policy. What is YOUR agent doing for you? Click here to get a quote from Diederich Healthcare.
1 – American Academy of Family Physicians AAFP (2008). Risk Management and Medical Liability. Retrieved from http://www.aafp.org.