Alaska Hospital Insurance Policy Information
Alaska Hospital Insurance. Hospitals play an indispensable role in public health by making diagnoses, treating acute traumas, performing surgeries may save lives or improve them, and proving a broad range of additional services that may include, for example, dermatology and physical rehabilitation programs.
Hospitals and infirmaries provide medical treatment to patients on an outpatient or inpatient basis. Medical facilities include patient rooms for in-house treatment and care, medical testing laboratories, pharmacies, surgery or operating rooms, and access to both doctor and nursing care at all times.
While some hospitals support all types of medical care, including emergency medical assistance, others limit their services to such specialties as burn treatment, cardiology, intensive care, neurology, obstetrics/gynecology, oncology, orthopedics, pediatrics, psychiatry, radiology, spine treatment, or weight loss.
Many hospitals have cafeterias or restaurants, gift shops, and waiting areas for visitors. Some offer additional services such as counseling, health classes, libraries, religious services, and lodging for guests.
A hospital may be funded by charitable or religious organizations, Medicaid, Medicare, or private insurers. Some are teaching hospitals that provide training to medical students while offering lower-cost services to patients.
An infirmary is normally not as elaborate as a hospital; however, it does provide the same basic services on a more limited basis.
Some hospitals provide specialized care to certain populations, such as children's hospitals and military hospitals, while general hospitals typically have trauma centers (emergency rooms).
Infirmaries are, in contrast, technically any treatment facility - including temporary field hospitals. Today, any facility that refers to itself as an infirmary is most likely to either be a small hospital or a clinic within a larger hospital.
Hospitals and infirmaries have the goal of saving lives and improving patient health, but they by nature face a slew of unexpected circumstances.
While carrying the right policies is vital for all commercial ventures and governmental institutions alike, it is of special importance to AK hospitals and infirmaries. What types of Alaska hospital insurance coverage might these facilities need?
Alaska hospital insurance protects your medical facility from lawsuits with rates as low as $147/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Do AK Hospitals Need Insurance?
The many perils hospitals and infirmaries could be confronted by all illustrate how essential it is to be properly insured - almost without exception, the perils health care facilities are vulnerable to are extremely costly.
Hospitals and infirmaries face some of the same risks shared by other kinds of businesses, of course. They would include acts of nature (wildfires, hurricanes, serious floods, storms, tornadoes, and others), theft and cyber theft, vandalism, and the possibility of sudden equipment malfunction, whether it pertains to elevators or MRI machines.
Since hospitals are by nature frequented by already at-risk people, however, the consequences could be even more severe than they would be for other commercial ventures.
AK health care facilities further have considerable liability risks. An employee could become injured on the job, including, for medical staff, in ways that exposes them to dangerous pathogens. Despite a surgeon's best efforts, poor patient outcomes can occur, and sometimes lead to costly, drawn-out, malpractice lawsuits.
Medical facilities simply could not continue to function for very long without comprehensive Alaska hospital insurance, which protects them from the financial consequences of all perils they are likely to encounter.
What Type Of Insurance Do Alaska Hospitals Need?
Each hospital is unique. The scope of the medical care they provide, how busy the facility is, how many employees they have and what their profession is, the jurisdiction in which the facility is based, and even geographical and climate factors all impact the risk profile of a hospital or infirmary.
Therewith, these variables determine the facility's insurance needs as well. A seasoned commercial insurance broker who specializes in the health care sector is an invaluable partner in deciding what insurance policies are best for a health care institution.
We can, however, provide a general overview of the most important types of Alaska hospital insurance for medical facilities:
- Commercial Property - This type of insurance is of a general nature; any business should carry it, as it provide coverage for the building and the physical assets therein in case of common perils such as acts of nature (typically excluding floods), theft, vandalism, and certain accidents (such as the accidental starting of a fire).
- Commercial General Liability - Another essential form of Alaska hospital insurance, general liability helps cover legal fees resulting from bodily injury and property damage claims occurring after commonplace scenarios. That means this form of insurance would cover harms a hospital caused or neglected to prevent only if those harms could have taken place almost anywhere - such as slipping on a wet floor or accidental damage to vehicles in parking lots.
- Hospital Medical Malpractice - This type of insurance covers the legal and settlement costs related to allegations of wrongful diagnosis, incorrect treatment, or medical negligence. Just as individual physicians must carry medical malpractice insurance, hospitals and infirmaries require coverage for the whole facility.
- Workers Compensation - Hospital staff could be injured in any number of ways. If the hospital or infirmary is in any way responsible, workers comp replaces any lost wages while they recover, and also provides funds for their medical bills.
These four types of coverage are important to any hospital or infirmary, but these facilities may have many additional needs - in the form of cyber insurance, auto insurance, and business interruption insurance, to name but a few.
Commercial insurance agents who specialize in the health care field are dedicated to finding the best possible type of Alaska hospital insurance coverage for these important healthcare facilities.
AK Hospital's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is high due to a large number of visitors to the premises and the impaired physical mobility of patients. Public and life safety code compliance is very important.
Excellent housekeeping is required to reduce the number of trips, slips, and falls. Spills must be cleaned up promptly. Hallways, rooms, and recreational areas must be orderly and well maintained.
Stairways, elevators, railings, and floor coverings should be in good condition. Exits should be clearly marked and free of obstacles. Adequate interior and exterior lighting should be available in the event of a power outage. Steps must have rails, be illuminated, marked, and in good maintenance and repair.
There should be a temperature-monitoring device in all bathing and showering areas to prevent scalding.
Parking lots should be maintained free of ice and snow. A major concern in the area of patient safety is the type of backup facilities available for power outages and loss of normal utilities. Emergency generators should be in place, checked and maintained periodically.
Security at the facility, as well as in the building, corridors, and any owned parking area needs to be carefully checked and reviewed because the facility may be held liable should a patient or visitor be attacked on the premises.
Should an emergency situation arise, there should be evacuation plans in place to quickly move patients to a safe area. Personal injury exposures include discrimination, invasion of privacy, and wrongful eviction.
Maintaining a patient's privacy is critical. Examination rooms, check-in and checkout stations must be in private areas so one patient cannot view information or overhear conversations regarding another patient's confidential information. Inappropriate touching and sexual misconduct must be considered.
Background checks should be conducted before hiring any employee. The hospital should be accredited and operate within the guidelines of that accreditation. If it is on probation, there should be active plans to comply with open recommendations to be taken off probationary status.
Environmental impairment exposure is significant due to the potential for contaminating the air, ground, or water supply by improperly disposing of medical waste, including contaminants such as hepatitis B or the AIDS virus. Disposal must be documented and meet all FDA and EPA standards.
Professional, medical malpractice, and directors and officers exposures are very high. Staff turnover is high, disrupting continuity in patient care. The exposure increases if the facility fails to conduct thorough background checks to verify employees' credentials, education, and licensing.
Hospitals should be subject to regular inspections by their accreditation organization. It should also be licensed and staffed based on federal and state requirements. The staff/patient ratio should be sufficient to provide adequate care for patients. Supervision is essential along with regular training, monitoring, and well-written and followed procedures.
Patients must be informed as to their rights to obtain or refuse medical care as described by state and federal law. Very serious losses may result from failure to secure patient approval before performing procedures.
Access to patients' records must be restricted to those having a legitimate reason for viewing them. Medical records must be duplicated and stored off-site. Both on-site and off-site records must be safeguarded to protect patients' right to privacy.
Patient plans should be in place and followed by all staff members. Only patients who are within the appropriate level of care within the hospital's license should be admitted and allowed to remain in the facility.
Needles and other equipment must be sterilized and sanitized to prevent the spread of blood-borne infectious diseases such as hepatitis, HIV and AIDS. There should be a formal review process in place for reviewing all incidents that may give rise to a claim of medical malpractice. The hospital environment can lend itself to the spread of diseases like MRSA if not handled immediately.
Access to all pharmaceuticals must be carefully controlled, with procedures in place for the proper dispensation to patients. Finally, inappropriate touching and sexual misconduct must be considered.
Workers compensation exposure comes from contact with patients, from infections, and from communicable diseases such as hepatitis, HIV, AIDS, or MRSA. Employees should have access to vaccinations to prevent diseases. Gloves and masks should be worn at all times when working around any bodily fluids. All CDC recommended procedures for handling bodily fluids must be followed.
Constant cleansing with disinfectants can result in the lung, eye, or skin irritations and reactions. Accidental piercings from needles and cuts from scalpels are common. X-ray technicians should wear leaded aprons to limit exposure to harmful radiation.
Back injuries, sprains, and strains can occur when assisting or lifting patients. Procedures should be in place for safely handling unruly or violent patients to minimize injury to both the patient and the employees.
Slips and falls can occur from tripping over objects or slick floors. Kitchen work includes the possibility of cuts, scrapes, and burns. Because patient information and billings are done on computers, potential injuries include eyestrain, neck strain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and similar cumulative trauma injuries that can be addressed through ergonomically designed workstations.
Property exposures are extensive. Ignition sources include electrical wiring, heating, and air conditioning systems, diagnostic and treatment equipment, laundry equipment, and cooking appliances. All electrical wiring must be up to code and equipment properly maintained. Licensing and certification ensure that housekeeping is excellent and that controls are in place for patient safety.
Smoking is not permitted in hospitals and that ban must be enforced. There should be smoke detectors installed in all patient rooms and common areas. Oxygen and other surgical gases in use around the hospital are flammable and must be controlled. Even a small fire can cause extensive damage due to the requirement of a sterile environment.
All kitchen grills and deep fat fryers must have fire extinguishing protection, hoods, and filters. There should be automatic fuel shut off valves and adequate hand-held fire extinguishers.
Theft is a major concern because of the large quantities of drugs stored on premises. Tight controls must be in place including, but not limited to, inventory control and limited access to the drug room.
Business income and extra expense losses can be severe due to the cost of diagnostic equipment, the time it may take to repair or replace a damaged item, and the unavailability of backup facilities.
Equipment breakdown exposures are high as operations are dependent on medical equipment being available. All equipment must be maintained regularly.
Crime exposure comes from both employee dishonesty and money and securities. The potential for theft, directly or by means of identity theft, is great. Pre-employment checks, including criminal background checks, should be required for any employee with access to drugs or money. Inventory must be reviewed regularly and the drug areas must have limited access.
Regular monitoring with cameras can be helpful in deterring employee theft and monitoring patient treatment. All ordering, billing, and disbursements must be handled as separate duties. Regular inventories and audits must be conducted.
Money and securities can be a concern if payments are accepted on premises. Deposits should be made regularly and no money kept on premises overnight. Patients' property may be stolen by employees.
Inland marine exposure comes from accounts receivable for billings, computers, medical equipment, and valuable papers and records for employees', patients' and vendors' information. Most medical equipment is now run by computers and should be covered on a computer form. Some medical equipment may be shared with other facilities or be kept in mobile care units, requiring separate coverage as it is transported between locations.
Equipment being transported must be adequately secured to prevent movement during transit. All records should be duplicated and a copy kept off premises. There may be a bailees exposure if the hospital takes custody of the goods of others, such as laundry. Some hospitals may have extensive fine arts and statuary that should be covered under a fine arts form.
Commercial auto exposure is high because of the use of emergency vehicles and transportation of patients, officials, guests, and visitors because some may have an existing injury or have limited mobility. If there are owned vehicles, all drivers should be licensed with acceptable MVRs.
Vehicle maintenance should be ongoing and documented in a central location. Ambulance drivers must be trained to notice surroundings, particularly when going through congested traffic and intersections. If the ambulance service is contracted out, the hospital should require certificates of insurance from each provider.
Alaska Hospital Insurance - The Bottom Line
To learn more about the specific types of Alaska hospital insurance policies your facility needs - along with the coverages, exclusions and costs - consult with a reputable broker that is experienced in commercial insurance for medicine.
Alaska Economic Data, Regulations And Limits On Commercial Insurance
If you're an entrepreneur who is thinking about starting a business in Alaska, it's important to have a basic understanding of the state's overall economy before you set up shop. Regardless of how high-quality the products and services you are planning on offering may be, if the location where you open your organization doesn't offer a target market that your products and services will appeal to, chances of success are slim. Furthermore, if a workforce isn't available to support your business, you'll have a hard time staying afloat.
With that said, it's important for business-minded individuals who are thinking about starting a company in Alaska to familiarize themselves with the state's economy; it's also a good idea to have an understanding of the commercial insurance requirements.
Following is an overview of economic trends and commercial insurance policies that business owners are required to carry in The Last Frontier.
Economic Trends For Business Owners In Alaska
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in Alaska was 6.1% in December of 2019. While that's significantly higher than the national unemployment rate, which was 3.4% in December, 2019, it's lower than it was one year prior, when the rate of unemployment was 6.5% in December of 2018. Though the workforce is growing slower than it is in other states, economists do predict that the rate will continue to decline in the coming years.
Despite Alaska's remoteness and cold climate, it's actually a great start to start a business. According to the Tax Foundation, Alaska is the second most tax-friendly state for business owners in the United States, as there's no individual income tax or state sales tax. Additionally, Alaska has the second highest rate of new business owners, as well as the second highest percentage of available employees (as per 2016).
As in most states, the best spots to start a business in Alaska are the state's biggest cities and the surrounding areas. This includes Anchorage, Juneau, and Fairbanks. Other key areas that are seeing a boost in business development in recent years include Homer, Sitka, Prudhoe Bay, and Ketchikan.
While there are several industries that are experiencing growth in The Last Frontier, specific sectors thrive more than others. Businesses that are related to the following industries are booming in AK:
- Fishing, which is also one of the largest contributors to the state's economy.
- Mining, which provides more than 4,500 jobs in Alaska.
- Petroleum, which is responsible for 34% of jobs in the state. In fact, Prudhoe Bay is North America's largest oil field.
- Tourism is the second largest private sector employer in the state. Each year, millions of people from around the globe travel to Alaska to marvel at the numerous natural wonders that can be found here.
Commercial Insurance Requirements In Alaska
The Alaska Division of Insurance regulates insurance in AK. Alaska mandates very few forms of insurance coverage by law. They enforce worker's compensation.
Alaska requires you to have worker's compensation insurance if you hire even one employee on a regular basis. This includes part-time employees, family members, minors, and immigrant employees. It is not required for independent contractors or domestic employees, though you should check to make sure any contractors you have are true contractors, and not employees.
Alaska also requires all business-owned vehicles to be covered by commercial auto insurance. Other types of business insurance that business owners should carry depend on the specific industry.
Additional Resources For Medical Insurance
Discover small business insurance for medical and dental professionals. Medical malpractice insurance is a type of professional liability that protects health care professionals from liability causing in bodily injury, medical expenses and property damage.
- Ambulatory Surgical Center
- Art Therapy
- Assisted Living Facilities
- Blood Banks
- Dental Lab
- Dental Office
- Diagnostic Imaging Centers
- Health Maintenance Organizations
- Healthcare Facilities
- Home Medical Equipment Dealers
- Marriage & Family Therapy
- Medical Clinics
- Medical Laboratories
- Medical Marijuana Dispensary
- Medical Practice
- Medical, Surgical & Hospital Supply Store
- Mental Health Counseling
- Nurse Registry
- Occupational Therapy
- Osteopathic Physicians
- Physicians Office
- Plastic Surgeons
- Skilled Nursing Facilities
- Speech Therapy
- Substance Abuse Counseling
- Telemedicine Business Insurance
Health care providers are the most trusted individuals in our society. Ironically, they are the same ones who can do the greatest harm. They actually have the right to invade our bodies with knives and to poison us with chemicals - all in the name of health care and with the goal of relieving our symptoms and hopefully bringing about a cure.
While the actions of these professionals normally benefit us, insurance coverage must be available for the times when mistakes happen and things go wrong. These professionals and their facilities have extensive property exposures that are becoming more and more intricate and whose values are increasing exponentially.
The 'one size fits all' approach that once could have applied to insurance for health care providers and their facilities no longer applies.
Professional liability offers protection against claims of malpractice for all sums that the medical professional becomes legally obligated to pay as damages because of rendering or failing to render professional services.
Professional and medical malpractice exposures are the most expensive and difficult of all exposures for health care providers. The commercial general liability policy excludes these exposures so separate coverage is needed. Most professional liability policies are written on a claims-made basis and, as a result, tail coverage and retroactive dates are important coverage issues to be aware of when evaluating the insured’s coverage needs and comparing coverages.
The coverage provided is often called medical malpractice. For decades, many involved in the health care field and insurance companies that provide insurance coverage to providers have stated that malpractice lawsuits have created an ongoing crisis of restricting insurance availability, due to loss of insurance companies that write the coverage and significant rate increases.
As a result, state legislatures have taken the following actions to address the situation:
Imposed a dollar limitation of liability for malpractice suits.
Modified statutes of limitation to limit the number of years that a suit may be brought against a physician following a negligent act.
Modified when the statute of limitations takes effect. An example is beginning from a negligent act's occurrence rather than from its discovery.
Passed laws to modify tort law procedures and doctrines that relate to malpractice.
Because of differences in law by state it is important to know the states in which the covered health care providers are licensed and regularly practice. Some health care providers may practice in multiple states because of their particular specialty, their reputation or the demand for their services. Some hospitals may have ownership in facilities or provide services to patients that are outside of their main location state.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Business Personal Property, Business Income and Extra Expense, Employee Dishonesty, Money and Securities, Accounts Receivable, Computers, Physicians and Surgeons Floater, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Employee Benefits, Professional, Umbrella, Hired and Non-owned Auto & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Building, Earthquake, Equipment Breakdown, Flood, Leasehold Interest, Real Property Legal Liability, Computer Fraud, Forgery, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices, Business Automobile Liability and Physical Damage and Stop Gap Liability.
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Also find Alaska insurance agents & brokers and learn about Alaska small business insurance requirements for general liability, business property, commercial auto & workers compensation including AK business insurance costs. Call us (907) 531-9001.