Why Is Chiropractic Malpractice Insurance Important?
Read why it's important for chiropractors to have malpractice insurance. Len about the cost of liability insurance for private practices.
Like all medical professions, being a chiropractor comes with the risk of malpractice lawsuits. And if you don’t have chiropractic malpractice insurance, it might only take one unhappy client to bring your business to a halt.
To protect yourself against the financial strain that often accompanies a lawsuit, it’s vital to make sure you’re covered by a comprehensive chiropractic insurance policy. Read on to find out more about why chiropractors need malpractice insurance, and how to choose the right provider for you.
Do chiropractors need malpractice insurance?
All healthcare providers are at risk of getting sued for medical malpractice. Malpractice occurs when you act, or fail to act, in a way that results in harm or injury to a patient. In the chiropractic field, there are two main things you’re at risk of facing a lawsuit over: failure to diagnose, and negligent spinal manipulation.
✓Failure to diagnose
All doctors, including chiropractors, are responsible for properly diagnosing and treating their patients. Some common errors which may lead to malpractice lawsuits include:
- Not asking enough questions to make the right diagnosis
- Failing to run necessary diagnostic tests
- Failing to refer a patient to the correct specialist
- Misdiagnosing symptoms as being caused by misalignment of the spine, rather than identifying the issue as being a part of another health condition
✓Negligent spinal manipulation
As a chiropractor, you likely do several spinal readjustments every day. Of course, this procedure comes with risks. Incorrect spinal manipulation may lead to you being sued for serious injuries such as herniated discs, pinched arteries, and even strokes.
✓Chiropractic malpractice insurance is vital
Even if you’re a highly qualified and skilled chiropractor, it’s always possible that you will make a mistake. To protect against the financial loss that often comes with these lawsuits, you need malpractice insurance.
Malpractice insurance is a must-have in any field of medicine, but it’s possible to get insurance that’s customized for chiropractors. You may want to consider coverage specifically for your industry, so that the policy will be tailored to account for the risks specific to your field.
Claims-made vs occurrence chiropractic malpractice insurance
There are two types of medical malpractice insurance to consider: claims-made and occurrence. It’s important to do some research and make sure you choose the right type for your practice.
With claims-made insurance, you’ll only be covered if the policy is in effect both when the accident occurred and when the lawsuit is filed. As it’s cheaper than occurrence insurance, claims-made is often a good choice for a new practice without too many assets or clients.
This coverage offers protection for any event that happened during a period of coverage, regardless of when the claim is filed. If you have a larger business with some disposable cash and more at stake, occurrence offers you stable, permanent coverage.
What is included in chiropractic malpractice insurance coverage?
Most chiropractic liability insurance policies will cover your legal defense and the settlement amount. However, these are far from the only costs that come with a lawsuit. Make sure you find a provider that covers everything you need. Some additional features you may want to consider include:
- Loss of earnings reimbursement; although most cases are settled or dropped, some go to trial. If you’re busy consulting with your attorney, preparing your testimony, and are spending long days in court, you won’t have time to see patients. Luckily, many providers will reimburse you for lost earnings.
- Retroactive date; some providers will offer you cover for events that happened for a certain period of time before you purchased cover, as long as you weren’t aware of circumstances that could lead to a claim.
- Run-off cover; you can be subject to claims even after you retire or sell the business. Many providers will cover you for a certain number of years after you finish practising.
- Tail coverage; if you opt for claims-made insurance, you can usually pay for an add-on called “tail coverage” that will ensure you’re covered for lawsuits filed after your policy has ended.
Making sure you’re insured against medical malpractice is vital for all chiropractors. Once you’re satisfied that you have the chiropractic liability insurance cover you need, you can rest assured that any potential lawsuits won’t break the bank or put you out of business.
Making sure your documentation is correct and complete can be time-consuming, but chiropractic SOAP note software can make all the difference. Healthie is a comprehensive EHR platform for chiropractors, offering:
- Built-in chiropractic SOAP note templates
- Forms you can easily customize to meet the unique needs of your practice
- The ability to take notes securely within the Healthie platform
- Integration with insurance billing tools
- HIPAA, PIPEDA, GDPR, and PCI-compliance - so all your information is kept secure
Simplify your chiropractic SOAP notes and try Healthie’s software today.
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