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Mitigating Business Risks in the Medical Practice

Medical practices are significant legal business entities and need to carefully consider common financial risks. While it is impossible to remove 100 percent of risk, physicians should be reminded that they are vulnerable targets with unique needs for powerful protection, even outside of the clinical setting.

When it comes to your business, it may be overwhelming to evaluate the various areas that can put you at risk for an accident or lawsuit. Many times, physicians do not consider how a fire or flood could damage equipment, property, and files, or how financially damaging it can be for a delivery person to get injured on your property. Have you ever thought about how you would recover from theft of your medical equipment or business property? 

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Believe it or not, these scenarios happen more often than you think and the impact on your practice can be far reaching. Practice closure, costly injury-related medical bills, court and legal fees, inventory replacement for damaged goods, and equipment repair or replacement are just some of the challenges you may face because of a business-related accident or lawsuit.

While there are several mitigation strategies to implement to reduce your risk, the best protection to consider is a Business Owners Policy (BOP), which combines a wide range of liability and property/casualty coverage into a single package. Although these policies may be purchased or customized as individual policies, it is generally easier and less expensive to purchase them together.

A good BOP policy:

        Provides insurance against alleged claims of injury or damage caused by physicians or their employees (not from malpractice) including cost of legal defense and settlements

        Repairs or replaces damaged buildings, equipment, or other business property

        Reimburses lost income or costs if the practice closes following a loss to property

        Covers the cost of replacing or restoring damaged records or files due to a property loss

        Pays for medical costs of individuals other than employees who are injured at your practice

While a BOP policy will cover the financial damages associated with a non-employee, non-clinical injury that occurred in your practice, it will not cover employee injuries occurring as a result of a workplace accident. Slips, trips, falls, falling objects, cuts and lacerations, biological hazards, needle sticks, and chemical and drug hazards are just some of the common risks in the medical practice that can easily cause an employee injury.

Most medical practices are likely well-acquainted with a safety-first culture and provide the necessary OSHA training for employees to help avoid accidents of any kind. However, accidents will happen. That is why all California employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance.  Failure to do so may results in heavy fines and penalties.

When an injury occurs on the job, both productivity and profits suffer, yet many employers continue to be inadequately covered or not covered at all. Workers’ compensation insurance protects you and your employees.

A good workers’ compensation policy:

        Covers the medical expenses of the injured employee

        Covers the employee's lost income

        Helps the employer return their employee to work sooner

        Protects the business owner from accident-related lawsuits

        Ensures a seamless and effective claims process

Pricing for workers’ compensation varies but is primarily driven by gross payroll costs and claims history. When shopping for insurance, physicians should find a trusted financial advisor to advise them on how much coverage they need. If possible, physicians should either consolidate their insurance business with an agency that can handle all their insurance needs or create visibility of their entire portfolio for their advisor to see.

CAP Physicians Insurance Agency, Inc. (CAP Agency) is a full-service insurance agency created to support CAP members. The Agency's licensed and trained professional insurance agents have expertise in all lines of business and personal insurance coverage and know healthcare. They can provide you with a comprehensive review of your risk exposures, assess your current coverage, and provide you with comparative, competitive quotes at no cost to you. To learn more, call 800-819-0061 or email