Plastic surgery is a sector where medical negligence claims are very common, and even if you’re doing everything right, you could still be open to legal action. Patients can file a claim for anything from unsatisfactory results, not being advised on possible alternative treatments, or even being offered unreasonable expectations to persuade them to go through with a particular procedure. This is why coverage should be one of the first things on your mind when starting your own practice. However, it’s important that you understand how coverage works so you don’t commit some crucial mistakes. Here are some of the most common mistakes plastic surgeons make when applying for insurance.
Inflating Treatment Counts
One of the most common mistakes surgeons make is either inflating their treatment counts or inflating one type of procedure in particular. Some surgeons will mistakenly count every single action performed during a session as a separate treatment or underestimate their number of consultations.
If a client comes for a Botox treatment, every action performed during that visit will count as one single treatment. However, if the client gets a second procedure the same day for a laser treatment, for instance, this will count as a separate session, even if it was in one single visit.
Insurers will also charge you more for certain procedures that are riskier than others, and your premiums will be affected by your clinic’s profile. Insurers like Incision Indemnity will adjust their plans according to what your practice specializes in. For instance, some procedures like Botox are seen as less risky than breast augmentation, so if you specialize in injectables, they will reduce the amount you’ll have to pay.
Estimated gross revenue will usually be another factor considered when calculating medical negligence coverage pricing, and many practices have a tendency to overinflate their expected revenue. This is especially true for new practices who have no clear idea of how much revenue they’ll be able to generate at first.
But overestimating revenue will eventually result in higher premiums, which is something many new practices can’t afford. That’s why it’s important to be realistic when making projections, to make sure that they’re actually attainable.
Assuming you will be Covered for Off-Site Treatments
If you were thinking of offering off-site treatments and was assuming that you’ll be able to get insurance easily, think twice. While some insurers will accommodate you, others will simply refuse to cover a professional that provides procedures off-sites, like in the case of Botox parties, for instance. They might have issues with you working in an environment that may be unsanitary or prone to accidents. Theft could also be an additional risk. So, if you were thinking of going down that route, you should either reconsider the idea or be prepared to have more difficulty finding an insurer.
Not Planning for New Procedures
You also have to decide whether you might want to add new procedures in the future. If you do add a new procedure, you could add coverage for this procedure to your existing policy after getting underwriting approval. But you could also wait to incorporate the new procedure into your renewal application. Adding the procedure at that time will usually cost you less than doing it mid-term. So, if you add the procedure within a few months of your policy effective date, waiting could be a better decision.
Insurance plays an important role for any plastic surgeon thinking of operating a private practice. Make sure that you look for the best coverage possible and understand which factors may influence your premiums, so you don’t commit errors that could end up costing you more.