Healthcare Facilities Insurance Alaska Policy Information
Healthcare Facilities Insurance Alaska. Healthcare facilities have unique insurance needs, and a business owner's policy is one first line of coverage to meet those needs. However, because of the many inherent risks faced by healthcare facilities and the providers and employees working in them, it is necessary to carry the right level of insurance to meet your facilities needs in order to guard against potential liabilities.
Risks such as slips and falls, contamination, personal data theft, and property damage all loom and are all potential perils that your facility faces each and every day. There are also unique perils that are specific only to the healthcare industry that you should consider when making a healthcare facilities insurance Alaska policy purchase.
Medical clinics provide healthcare services on an outpatient basis. While originally formed to provide low-cost medical services to the poor and destitute and to provide a learning facility for medical students, they now provide the services one could normally obtain in a doctor's office.
Many clinics have become specialized treatment centers that provide a service or group of services in a particular field of medicine such as pediatrics or physical therapy. Other clinics are part of a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) and provide medical treatment to group participants.
A clinic generally employs licensed primary care doctors who pre-screen patients according to their symptoms, prescribe medication for common ailments, and refer patients in need of more focused medical attention to specialists. Most doctors working in clinics refer patients to a hospital or other medical facility for laboratory tests, surgery, or post-operative care.
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.
Healthcare facilities insurance Alaska protects your facility from lawsuits with rates as low as $127/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
How Can A Healthcare Facilities Insurance Alaska Policy Help?
Getting the right level of healthcare facilities insurance Alaska coverage and the appropriate policies in force can help you mitigate the risks that your facility faces on a daily basis. Let's run down some basic coverage types to consider for your healthcare facility:
- Property coverage. Everything that your healthcare facility owns, rents, or leases from others, including items such as business equipment, medical equipment, fixtures, furniture, and inventory, should be protected under an extensive property coverage policy. A comprehensive policy might include a bundle of different protections, including electronic data loss, utility service interruption, patient evacuation costs in the event of an emergency, or personal property theft of patients' property.
- General liability insurance. This healthcare facilities insurance Alaska covers property damage, accidents related to occurrences in outpatient facilities, and damage to rental property. This type of coverage also protects your business from lawsuits arising due to negligence, slander, libel, personal injury, false advertising, and faulty products.
- Management liability insurance. The management in any healthcare facility are often targeted for lawsuits. This includes directors and officers. Management liability insurance can help protect the business against these sorts of suits. It may also include employment practices liability that kicks in in the event that an employee sues your facility based on its hiring or firing practices or for cases of sexual harassment or discrimination.
- Coverage for patients' personal effects. If property is stolen from a patient, this coverage protects you from liability.
- Decontamination coverage. If your facility is required to clean up pollutants after an event, this this coverage pays for things like testing, removal, cleanup, replacement of affected items and restoration.
- Uncontaminated stock policy. If undamaged drugs, medical supplies, devices, or biological items that are undamaged are condemned or forced off the market due to a government action, this policy reimburses you for their value.
- Radioactive contamination policy. This type of policy pays for cleaning up radioactive contaminants in the event of a covered event.
- Accounts receivable coverage. If a covered event causes destruction to your business' accounts receivable records, then this coverage pays for their recovery and reconstruction.
- Off-premises utilities. If utilities are interrupted, then this coverage pays for lost income during a covered event.
- Umbrella coverage. Umbrella policies provide additional coverage beyond your basic liability protection policy. This is a must-have policy for lawsuit awards that exceed your limits.
- Flood insurance. Most property policies do not cover flooding. Purchase a separate flooding policy to ensure that flooding is covered.
- Mobile medical coverage. If your facility offers mobile services off site, then this coverage provides protection for the medical equipment used off site.
- Commercial auto insurance. Insure all of the facility's vehicles with commercial insurance. Any vehicles used for business purposes should be covered under this type of policy.
- Worker's compensation. This often state required coverage pays injured or ill employees for health-related wage loss and medical costs.
Alaska Medical Clinic's And Hospital's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure for medical clinics is moderate due to patients' access to the premises. To prevent trips, slips, and falls, all areas accessible to patients must be well maintained with floor covering in good condition. The number of exits must be sufficient, and be well marked, with backup lighting in case of power failure. Steps should have handrails, be illuminated, marked, and in good repair. Parking lots should be maintained free of ice and snow. Housekeeping should be excellent and spills must be cleaned up promptly.
If surgery is performed, the area must be kept sterile at all times and carefully controlled. The patients' area must be designed for patients who are physically impaired following surgery. Escort procedures must be clear for all personnel. 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.
Premises liability exposure for hospitals 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.
Professional liability exposure for medical clinics is extensive as most clinics serve patients either who have no regular physician or whose regular physician is unavailable. Decisions are made based on limited background information with verification of medical history generally unavailable. The exposure increases if the provider fails to conduct thorough background checks to verify employees' credentials, education, and licensing. Staff turnover is high in clinics, disrupting continuity in patient care.
Records must be well-documented and prior data obtained as much as possible. The prescreening questionnaire is vital. Very serious losses may result from failure to secure patient approval before performing procedures, including vaccinations. Training and safety equipment should be in place to prevent exposure to radiation when performing X-rays. Needles and other equipment must be sterilized and sanitized to prevent the spread of blood-borne infectious diseases such as hepatitis, HIV, and AIDS.
On-site surgery must be closely monitored, with an experienced trained individual administering and monitoring the use of the anesthetic. Finally, inappropriate touching and sexual misconduct must be considered.
Professional, medical malpractice, and directors and officers exposures for hospitals 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.
Environmental impairment exposure for hospitals 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.
Workers compensation exposure for medical clinics is due to the possible transmission of disease from a patient. Gloves and masks must be worn at all times when working around any bodily fluids. Unruly or unpredictable patients can cause harm including strains, back injuries, and contusions. Employees should have access to vaccinations to prevent diseases.
Training and safety equipment should be in place to prevent exposure to radiation when performing X-rays. 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. Workers who travel off site may encounter difficult circumstances, especially when going into patients' residences. Procedures should be in place to monitor the off-site exposure and provide for emergency backup.
Workers compensation exposure for hospitals 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 exposure for medical clinics is high due to the use of expensive diagnostic and medical equipment. Ignition sources include electrical wiring, heating, and air conditioning systems, and overheating of equipment. All electrical wiring must be up to code and equipment properly maintained. Excellent housekeeping is required and smoking should be prohibited. A small fire, which produces smoke, can cause considerable damage when sterile equipment and environments are compromised.
If pharmaceuticals are kept on premises, theft is a concern. These items should be inaccessible for unauthorized use and stored in a protected area after hours. Most property items are better covered on inland marine forms such as a computer form or the physicians and surgeons floater. The business income and extra expense exposure can be minimized if the clinic has arranged for temporary facilities with another clinic.
Property exposures for hospitals 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 for hospitals and clinics are high as operations are dependent on medical equipment being available. All equipment should be maintained on an ongoing basis.
Crime exposure for medical clinics comes from employee dishonesty of both money and inventory, particularly relating to drugs on premises. The potential for theft, directly or by means of identity theft, is great. Background checks should be conducted on all employees with access to drugs or money. Since drugs are tempting and susceptible to theft, employee access must be restricted and carefully monitored.
Ordering, billing and disbursement transactions should be handled as separate duties. Inventories and audits should be performed regularly. Money and securities are a concern if payments are accepted on premises. Deposits should be made regularly and money should not be kept on premises overnight.
Crime exposure for hospitals come 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 exposures for medical clinics include accounts receivable if the clinic bills for services, computers, physicians and surgeons equipment floater (which can include all office furnishings), and valuable papers and records for patients' and suppliers' information. Computers are used for patients' records and other office purposes, but most medical equipment, such as video equipment and X-ray machines, is also computerized.
Physicians and surgeons equipment includes items that doctors may take off site to handle emergencies. A medical clinic will generally include sophisticated computer and medical equipment, especially if it specializes in a particular medical field. Duplicates should be made of all records and stored off site.
Inland marine exposure for hospitals come 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.
Business auto exposure for medical clinics is generally limited to hired and non-owned liability for employees running errands. If there are owned vehicles, all drivers should be licensed with acceptable MVRs. Vehicle maintenance should be ongoing and documented in a central location.
Commercial auto exposure for hospitals 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.
More Healthcare Facility Insurance Alaska Information
While these are some basic policy types to consider when you run a healthcare facility, there are other riders and add-on policies that may be needed based on your facility's individual risks. Work with an agent to determine the different coverage types that may be necessary for the total protection of your business. A seasoned agent can help you determine factors that should go into any insurance purchase, including the policy limits you should choose, how much insurance is enough for your situation, and how to save on the insurance you need.
In addition, think about reviewing your current healthcare facilities insurance Alaska coverage with your agent to make sure that the coverage you have is sufficient. In many cases, some of the policies you own may be outdated and need to be reviewed to ensure that the insurance you have no meets your current needs. As a bonus, your agent can work with you to get separate quotes from multiple insurers, making sure you get the biggest bang for your facility's insurance budget, improving your facility's overall bottom line while keeping your insurance needs in the forefront and fully covered.
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
- Dental Lab
- Dental Office
- Diagnostic Imaging Centers
- Healthcare Facilities
- Home Medical Equipment Dealers
- Marriage & Family Therapy
- Medical Laboratories
- Medical Marijuana Dispensary
- Medical Practice
- Mental Health Counseling
- Occupational Therapy
- Physicians Office
- Skilled Nursing Facilities
- Speech Therapy
- Substance Abuse Counseling
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 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.