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Malpractice Insurance Risks

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Some Liability Considerations for Podiatrists

Dr. David Edward Marcinko; FACFAS, MBA


As a podiatrist, you are no doubt suffering under spiraling premium payments for malpractice insurance. So, always take the time to review your policy often and consider the following evolving issues.


New Considerations for 2009 … and Beyond


Perhaps your podiatry practice has specialized as your reputation has grown. Has your insurance agent/company designed a policy around the needs of your office?  Do not pay for coverage you would not use, and certainly do not leave gaps in your coverage so as to bear the risk of losses yourself.  A series of riders and endorsements from an insurance company will create a more specialized policy that addresses your insurance needs. 


Staying within Policy Scope


With respect to the scope of podiatric malpractice coverage, many liability insurance policies will deny coverage if an intentional tort is alleged. One example of an intentional tort is intentional infliction of emotional distress, which doctors may need to defend against if they misdiagnose a patient while having a financial interest in the treatment of the diagnosis.  


Battery is another intentional tort with which podiatrists may be charged if practicing beyond license scope is alleged; as in a leg surgery case a few years ago in Boise, Idaho.  Battery can be defined as any injurious contact without consent. The necessity of obtaining informed-consent from each patient is becoming increasingly important as a defense against such claims.


Intentional torts are to be distinguished from torts of negligence, which are usually covered under most liability insurance policies.  Negligence claims arise out of mistakes usually attributable to carelessness. 


Make sure your insurance policy extends to intentional torts to prevent these kinds of cases from being denied coverage by your insurance company.


Policy Limit Considerations


In addition, carefully consider the policy limits of your insurance and do not blankly accept the customary limits proposed by the insurance company. Instead, research the minimum amounts of coverage required in the location in which you practice, and adjust that upward to reflect the factors that cause malpractice judgments to increase.


Such factors include the clientele that you serve, the speed with which you must make medical decisions, the hospitals and surgical centers with which you are affiliated, and the relative cost of repairing damage made by an erroneous decision.




And so, have you ever been sued for a cause other than strict medical negligence; an intentional tort arising from an alleged lack of informed consent, for example? 


Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko MBA is available for medical seminars or other speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com  or Bio: www.stpub.com/pubs/authors/MARCINKO.htm

Copyright 2008 iMBA Inc: All rights reserved, USA. Use is restricted to www.ePodiatryConsentForms.com subscribers and visitors only. No redistribution is allowed. To avoid violation of iMBA Inc copyright policy, please register for your own free membership.

Related Information Sources:

Board Preparation: www.PodiatryPrep.com

Practice Management: http://www.springerpub.com/prod.aspx?prod_id=23759

Physician Financial Planning: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/0763745790

Medical Risk Management: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/9780763733421

Healthcare Organizations: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Health Administration Terms: www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

Physician Advisors: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

Referrals: Thank you in advance for your electronic referrals to www.ePodiatryConsentForms.com


Written by Dr. Marcinko

August 1, 2008 at 9:08 pm

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