The need for liability insurance for health-related professions has become a topic of importance in recent years. Often, the thought leaves more questions than answers for many certified individuals embarking on the road to self-employment and/or professional consulting.
How much coverage do I need? In an interview with Advance Healthcare Network, malpractice attorney Martin L. Khoury, Esq, offered this advice to those in the field: “The greater the amount of independent judgment a professional must exercise in the performance of his or her duties, the greater the need to be separately insured.”
What should a policy cover? According to Khoury, “A good policy should offer you protection against covered allegations of professional malpractice. Malpractice defense costs are typically paid in addition to the limits of liability. A good policy should also offer some additional coverages without additional cost for representation.”
How much will it cost? The risks attributed to each health care professional differ from one practitioner to another, as well as state to state, and determine the rate of the premium. But the average cost for a policy is only $150-250 a year for up to $1 million in coverage per covered claim. A carrier should help you look at your job duties, and the risk involved, to determine the best level of coverage.
What do other CHES and MCHES do? Joanna Hayden, PhD, CHES®, is the founder of Associates for Health, a health consulting firm, and teaches/guides clients through all aspects of health decisions. When asked about self-employed practitioners in regard to insurance, Joanna responded, “Anyone going into private practice needs liability insurance. It's a fact of life and part of the cost of having your own business.” She has found the liability group Healthcare Providers Service Organization (HPSO) to be accessible online, quick and easy, with an annual cost of about $360.
Table 1. Potential Liability Providers for Health Professionals
|Trust Risk Management Services
||Allied Program for Professional and General Liability
|Lockton Affinity Health
||Health and Safety Education
|CM & F Group
||Allied Health Professionals
|CPH & Associates
**NCHEC does not endorse any company in Table 1; it is supplied for resource purposes only.
In summary, if a CHES® or MCHES® is looking into private practice, liability insurance should be considered. A professional certification should be protected to the same degree as a home or car. It should be regarded as a career investment and protection for future income and security.