The secret of “slot coverage” every growing medical practice ought to know about

Posted by | March 04, 2014 | No Comments

Do you ever feel like your malpractice insurance policy overcharges for part-time medical providers sharing patients and hours with another provider?  Many group practices employ both full-time and part-time physicians.  When this is the case, arranging a slot policy for those physicians may be the most convenient and cost effective route for the practice’s medical professional liability insurance.

The way slot coverage works is on a “full-time equivalency” (FTE) basis. This means that the premium for the “slot” is based on how many hours, collectively, the part-time physicians will be working in a given period of time.

For example, if there are four part-time physicians each working 10 hours per week (40 hours total), then there would be one FTE slot. Therefore the premium for that slot would be comparable to one full-time physician’s premium.  If the four part-time physicians each work 20 hours per week (80 hours total), then the premium would be comparable to premium for 2 full-time physicians, as the insurance carrier is covering the same amount of time, collectively, that two full-time physicians would.

The benefits of cost reductions and flexibility are two-fold.

  1. Immediate cost reduction and flexibility: Most insurance carriers have only one part-time designation: fewer than 20 hours per week.  Under a traditional policy, a physician working only 4 hours per week would still be charged the same amount that a doctor working 20 hours per week would because they are both technically “part-time.” Each part-time physician does not need to maintain an individual policy, which can immediately trim insurance premiums.  Any physician covered by a slot policy can work any amount of hours as long as they, as a whole, do not exceed the number of hours the slot allows.  Changing the allotment of hours can be done with relative ease.
  2. Future cost reduction and flexibility: If a physician were to leave the group, they will not need to purchase tail coverage as the slot will remain open and the physician will be covered for any act or omission that could arise from negligence that occurred when they filled that slot. After approval by the insurance company, physicians can be moved in and out of the “slot” at any time without having to purchase tail coverage.  This benefit allows the practice time to recruit and hire a replacement without incurring a hefty tail expense.  The only time tail coverage would need to be purchased is if a slot has been closed entirely or left unoccupied throughout the policy period.

The flexibility and cost reduction allowed by a slot policy may benefit your group practice.  Diederich Healthcare can assist your practice with a custom risk solution, including slot policies, traditional polices, and stand-alone tail coverage.  You can contact our experienced professionals at 800.457.7790 or click here to request a quote now.

To contact the author, call 800-457-7790 and ask for Max Schloemann.

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