3 big legal risks that physician practices often overlook

There are legal risks in running a medical practice that doctors should be aware of.

Most doctors protect themselves against medical malpractice, but they often overlook other risks that can pose a threat to their practices, says one lawyer.

There are legal risks in running a medical practice that doctors should be aware of and manage in order to protect their assets, writes attorney and author Ike Devji, J.D., in a piece for Physicians Practice. Here are three of the most overlooked risks:

A lawsuit from an employee. This can pose a greater threat than being accused of medical malpractice, he writes. One way to protect your practice is to have employment practices liability insurance, says Devji, who recommends doctors have at least $1 million in coverage.

A data breach or cyber liability. Practices need to safeguard HIPAA-protected patient information and any other identifying information, he says. All medical practices should be insured against data breaches, including those caused by hacking, loss or theft of devices. Security breaches of electronic protected health information plagued the healthcare industry last year—and the trend shows no signs of abating.

Loss of practice income because of disability. Doctors may have personal disability insurance to ensure personal income if they are disabled, but they also need to protect their practice should an employee or partner who generates money for the business become unable to work, Devji says. Practices should have disability overhead insurance to be sure they can stay solvent if a key producer of income can’t work for a period of time.

No one wants to spend more money on insurance, but Devji says doctors may be penny wise and pound foolish not to have adequate coverage for these and other often-overlooked risks. Premiums may cost less than just a retainer for a lawyer if you are hit with one of these exposures, he says.