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January 10, 2019

Why Do I Need a Separate Medical Director Liability Policy?

Have you accepted a position as a medical director? Congratulations. Now make sure you have the right medical director liability insurance policy.

Extra Responsibility Brings Extra Risk

As a medical director, you’re responsible for overseeing the facility’s operations and patient care. This means that you’re not merely accountable for your decisions and your patients – you may also be held accountable for everything that occurs in the facility.  Medical directors take on extra responsibility, and that responsibility brings on extra risk.

According to American Med Spa Association, physicians who agree to act as medical directors for medical spas should be especially cautious. Despite the association with luxurious spas, medical spas are medical facilities, and the treatments conducted can carry more risks than many patients realize.  Lawsuits have become common. Medical spas must also comply with state regulations. However, according to Dermatology Times, many don’t, and many medical spa owners aren’t even aware that their facilities are illegal.

If you’re considering accepting a position as the medical director of a medical spa, you should be aware of these issues. However, medical directors at all types of medical facilities must exercise caution. If something goes wrong, you could be on the hook as the medical director. And if you don’t have the right insurance, the situation could go from bad to worse fast.

A Medical Director Liability Policy Provides Needed Protection

You might assume that your current medical malpractice liability policy provides all the coverage you’ll need. However, this may not be true—and this isn’t something you want to find out when you’re named in a lawsuit.

Many medical malpractice policies specifically exclude coverage for claims related to medical directorship. As the medical director, you could be named in a claim, and your insurance policy may not provide any coverage.

Protect your finances, reputation, and career:

  • Take your role as a medical director seriously. If anything goes wrong, you could be held responsible.
  • Before accepting a medical directorship, and throughout your position, make sure that the facility is held to a reasonable standard – for example, all licensing requirements are being met, the staff is well-trained, and the level of care is acceptable.
  • Don’t accept a medical directorship without the appropriate insurance coverage. If you are offered a position, find out what insurance coverage, if any, is being provided and whether the policy will be sufficient to cover your liabilities as a medical director.
  • If the facility does not supply medical director liability insurance, you will have to provide your own coverage if you want to accept the position without leaving yourself exposed. Do not expect your regular medical malpractice policy to cover this.
  • Read your policies carefully and be aware of any exclusions. If you need help understanding your coverage, talk to your insurance broker.

Have questions? Need guidance? The Heffernan Insurance Brokers’ Medical Malpractice Insurance team can help. Learn more.

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