In addition to providing Physicians with access to competitive traditional malpractice insurance, ABA can show you how to utilize Self Insurance through a Captive Insurance Company as a low cost and financially sound alternative. Fortune 500 businesses and other very large corporations have been using their own "captive" insurance entities for years to reduce their insurance expenses and build equity. Now, ABA can show you how to do the same. In fact, many physicians are able to save 30% and more.
Coverages and availability vary by state. Not all businesses and individuals qualify. This does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice or opinion. Consult with an experienced and properly licensed professional regarding the specific suitability of any planning technique.
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Captives and other alternative risk programs can provide cost savings, cash flow benefits, and specialized loss prevention and claims services not otherwise available through traditional programs.
Captives can allow your organization to reduce overall insurance costs while having broader flexibility in choosing services.
If you believe that you are spending too much for malpractice coverage and want to see if benefit from the advantages of Captives and alternative risk management programs, contact ABA.
Rent-A-Captive - enables you to create a custom risk financing program that deliver all the benefits of an owned captive without some of the associated complexities.
Protected Cell Captive - enables you to legally segregate your insurance assets and liabilities within your own separate unit, or cell. The principal attraction of the PCC is that each cell within the captive is legally insulated from the liabilities of other cells.
ABA can also show you innovative alternative solutions for organizations that may not choose to operate your own independent Single Parent or Group captive insurance company, with programs such as these alternatives:
The AMA recognizes the malpractice crisis - today's challenging Malpractice insurance market means access to affordable coverage is being tightened, capacity reduced and prices increased. However, there is an option that most MDs haven't explored - alternative risk transfer using captive insurers.
Under the Liability Risk Retention Act, your practice may be able to have your own Captive Insurance Company. Captives are available for large, multi-location groups, as well as individual physicians and allows physicians to build equity in their own insurance company instead of just paying premiums. More information...
Here are 5 more Ways to
Guarantee a Lawsuit...
6. Don't check the chart when ordering medication. Each patient's chart should have a summary sheet or bright sticky labels in the front that highlight any allergies or adverse reactions to medications. Doctors and nurses should double-check the chart for those warnings before ordering meds.
Letting staff members order refills is risky unless they check with you and/or the record first. In one office, an assistant phoned in a refill for blood pressure medication without looking at the patient's chart. If she had, she would have seen the doctor's note: "Needs workup when BP meds used up. No more refills." When the patient died of a stroke, the family sued the doctor and won a big settlement.
7. Diagnose and prescribe over the phone. Diagnosing medical conditions without examining the patient is risky. You can't assess appearance, body language, or symptom severity, all of which you would normally consider during an office exam. Besides, some patients may be unreliable or inaccurate when describing their symptoms. In the case of an impending heart attack or stroke, such errors could have fatal consequences.
Be careful prescribing medication over the phone, too. If you do, tell the patient to call back after a specified time if his condition does not improve. Document those calls, including his description of his symptoms, and the advice or medication you gave. Do not prescribe by phone for new complaints. If your diagnosis is wrong, the medicine could be ineffective or even harmful.
8. Don't care whether patients like you. Research on why patients sue doctors reveals that basic interpersonal skills such as listening and showing respect can be just as important as clinical skills in preventing lawsuits. According to one plaintiffs' attorney in Boston, "The most important factor in many cases, besides the injury itself, is the quality of the patient's relationship with the doctor. I have never had a client come in and say, 'I really like this doctor, and I feel terrible about doing it, but I want to sue him.' People just don't sue doctors they really like."
9. Assume each patient needs just a few minutes. Under pressure from reduced Medicare fees and managed care, many doctors feel compelled to see more patients each day. Patients get crammed into five-minute slots, making some feel rushed and neglected. If something goes wrong, they will sue, claiming you did not take enough time to pay attention to their symptoms. The plaintiff's attorney can then subpoena a copy of your daily appointment log. If it shows that you spent only five minutes with each patient, that fact will be cited as a contributing factor in your alleged negligence. The physician's staff should ask callers a series of standard questions about the nature, onset, duration, and severity of their problems, then schedule appropriate appointment times.
10. Don't say anything if something goes wrong. Many suits begin because the doctor wouldn't explain why something went wrong. Patients will often forgive honest mistakes when they're disclosed promptly, fully, and compassionately. But they become enraged when they think they're being stonewalled.
If the complaint involves a significant injury, invite the patient and her family to a conference at your office, and listen carefully to their concerns. Be prepared to review the record with them in detail. In such situations, it is appropriate to express your sympathy without accepting the blame or blaming other physicians. Explain that unexpected complications and poor results can occur without anyone being negligent.
Even with serious errors, when a lawsuit may be inevitable, disclosure and apology is still the best course of action. It can mitigate the patient's anger, and if the case does go to trial, it demonstrates that you had the patient's best interests at heart."
An appropriate apology does not mean admitting liability. Before making an apology, check with your malpractice insurer. Even if you are careful, some patients will interpret any attempt at apology as an admission of guilt. So avoid using words like "mistake," "error," or "accident." Instead, you might say, "I'm sorry things turned out this way."
Source: Article in July 8, 2005 Medical Economics by Berkeley Rice