Physician Workers’ Compensation Insurance [WCI]

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A Necessity for Contemporary Medical Practices

[Staff Writers]

Workers’ Compensation Insurance [WCI] is reported to be the largest line of commercial insurance, possibly because it is also a statutory obligation for most physicians and all employers who have common law employees.

Purpose of WCI

Workers’ Compensation provides coverage for lost income due to on-the-job accidents or work-related disability or death, and benefits vary by state. Its purpose is not only to provide these benefits but also to reduce potential litigation.

Physician-Executive Benefits of WCI 

Medical office staff employees accepting the benefit payments from a Workers’ Compensation claim generally forego the right to sue their physician-employer. Workers’ Compensation rates are established by job descriptions and commercial rates for the medical professional’s office are some of the lowest available.

WCI Structures

Generally, the three methods of providing Workers’ Compensation coverage are: 1. Private commercial insurance; 2. Governmental insurance funds; and 3. Self-insurance.

There are however, seven “monopolistic” states – Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming – which may not permit private commercial insurance.

Assessment 

The medical professional may be inclined to the third method of WCI coverage, especially in the larger offices.  Since the weekly benefits are typically below $750, this seems to make some sense. In larger medical groups, the physician-owners can elect not to be covered, as it is usually more convenient for the medical-executive to cover this risk with personal disability income insurance. 

Medical clinics or other healthcare entities, which wish to take more direct control of costs and benefit management, should consider self-insuring only after receiving expert advice.  This is one form of coverage that truly requires a trusted, knowledgeable insurance and risk-management advisor. 

Conclusion

What has been your experience with WCI in your geographic area? If your medical practice does not provide WC insurance; why not? 

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PHYSICIAN FOCUSED RISK MANAGEMENT TEXTBOOK

Risk Management, Liability Insurance, and Asset Protection Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™

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One Response

  1. Did you know that the The Social Security Administration wants to expand the number of healthcare providers it exchanges medical information with electronically in order to improve the speed and accuracy of its disability determinations?

    Read more about it here: http://www.govhealthit.com/newsitem.aspx?nid=71765
    Jeff

    Like

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