Operating a chiropractic office is a delicate business in every sense. The care and caution shown in treating patients must extend to protecting the practice by having the right policies in place. Otherwise, you’re leaving yourself open to legal action on multiple potential grounds ranging from patient injury to poor documentation. Let’s review some of the most valuable insurance options every office should budget for.
This is an absolute must for every chiropractic office regardless of the practitioner’s level of experience. Malpractice claims can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, so chiropractors need to know their chosen insurance provider has the resources to help them cover a potential claim. Researching an insurer is thus an essential step while shopping around and before committing to any malpractice policy.
Business Interruption Insurance
Chiropractic offices can be put on hold through a variety of events such as natural disasters, bad weather, or a pandemic. Business interruption coverage can help offices recoup lost income during the downtime caused by a covered event. It can also help with a temporary or permanent move to new operating facilities.
General Liability Insurance
These policies can protect your office on multiple fronts by helping to cover expenses related to:
- Injuries sustained by visitors while on your premises.
- Slander or libel accusations.
- Personal and advertising injury
- Property damage.
- Legal defense costs.
Some offices opt for a Business Owners Policy (BOP) which can deliver the perks of general liability coverage plus the benefits of both property and business interruption insurance. Speak to a licensed policy provider to review the best options for your office.
Your office’s digital infrastructure is as vulnerable to damage as the physical ones and the fallout of compromised patients, reputation, and revenue is just as likely. Cybercriminals are on the rampage with phishing attacks, ransomware, info stealers, and more, creating an online threat landscape that’s expanding rapidly and could devastate your records and finances.
Cyber insurance provides important coverage that is simply essential in today’s business world, helping to shield you against the effects of:
- Privacy invasion
- Data and record loss
- Compromised PII
- Software and/or hardware repairs
Some general liability, or BOPs, may have an element of cyber insurance written in, but it’s recommended you get a dedicated policy that can provide first and third-party coverage.
The first-party aspect helps take care of business liability costs incurred through a cyber event. The third-party aspect looks after anyone outside the business who was negatively impacted, such as a client or another business. Cyber insurance is still a developing field so it’s important to scrutinize your policy to see what you’re covered against (and for how much) and what you’re still vulnerable to.
When I started out in practice, the biggest risk I faced was a potential malpractice suit. Thirty-five years later, the biggest threat to my practice is an audit. Often, audits are triggered by patients who are not unhappy with your clinical care, but you’re billing or collection practices. Audit insurance policies can pay for the defense costs, civil fines, and penalties, arising from allegations of improper billing, HIPAA, EMTALA, and STARK violations. It is important to check that any coverage you purchase includes both governmental and commercial payers, qui tam plaintiffs, and voluntary self-disclosure. It is not a bad idea to ask your carrier if additional coverage for legal expenses for disciplinary proceedings by a state licensing board can also be added. If you’re not sure where to get this type of coverage, reaching out to your malpractice carrier is a great place to start.
Learn more about what insurance needs you should consider for your practice by joining us on Tuesday, February 1, 2022, at 2:15 PM EST for a webinar with NCMIC. Register at https://www.chirohealthusa.com/webinars/.
Dr. Ray Foxworth is a certified Medical Compliance Specialist and President of ChiroHealthUSA. A practicing Chiropractor, he remains “in the trenches” facing challenges with billing, coding, documentation and compliance. He has served as president of the Mississippi Chiropractic Association, former Staff Chiropractor at the G.V. Sonny Montgomery VA Medical Center and is a Fellow of the International College of Chiropractic. You can contact Dr. Foxworth at 1-888-719-9990, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the ChiroHealthUSA website at www.chirohealthusa.com. Join us for a free webinar that will give you all the details about how a DMPO can help you practice with more peace of mind. Go to www.chirohealthusa.com to register today.