Medical Laboratories Insurance Alaska Policy Information
Medical Laboratories Insurance Alaska Medical laboratories analyze test samples for physicians, clinics, hospitals, and other health care providers. While some collect the samples themselves from patients visiting their premises, the laboratory generally picks up samples gathered by health care providers, brings them to the laboratory for testing and analysis, and delivers results to the referring medical professional. Some laboratories are located in other medical facilities, such as a hospital. Some perform diagnostic tests, such as X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs.
In a medical laboratory setting more often than not, things go in the manner as they should. Results are accurately given to patients, lab tests are completed in a timely fashion, and patients/employers typically receive the information they require when it is needed.
In some cases however this isn't always the end result. And in those instances, medical labs require a medical laboratories insurance policy to protect themselves. From misdiagnosis to improper testing being conducted, or even slip and fall accidents or injuries which occur on the premises, you need to choose the right medical laboratories insurance Alaska policy and insurer to protect yourself from liability.
Medical laboratories insurance Alaska protects your facility from lawsuits with rates as low as $97/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Types Of Medical Laboratory Policies
When deciding on medical laboratories insurance Alaska policies, it is important to know what options are available to your business to shield you from liability. Some of the options you can tag onto your policy are:
Malpractice - Working with doctors, surgeons, and other health care professionals, a medical laboratory must have this medical laboratories insurance Alaska policy in place. It protects from inaccurate testing results, improper testing being conducted (if doctors order the wrong lab tests), and other issues or misdiagnosis which may occur, in a medical setting.
Malpractice can also be known as errors and omissions or professional liability.
Commercial General Liability - General liability protects you if you or an employee damages another person's property or injures a third party - suck as a patient or vendor that slips and falls on your premises. It covers the costs associated with lawsuits, including your legal defense, court costs, settlements and judgments.
Worker's Compensation - Workers comp is required in most states for any non-owner employees or partners. Injuries happen on the job, especially in medical facilities where technicians deal with blood, with needles, and other equipment. It is best to protect your practice from these claims, if an employee is injured on the job.
Business Property - This medical laboratories insurance Alaska will shield assets, your buildings, medical equipment, and other costly supplies used in this type of work environment. Even small AK medical labs should consider adding this onto their policy when considering a medical laboratories insurance policy to invest in.
"Special Coverage" - Although limited in nature, this is the type of medical laboratories insurance Alaska policy protection laboratories should consider if they are using chemicals. In the event of a spill, contamination, or other toxicity issues, gases, or even explosions, this will protect your medical lab, employees, and the practice, if these issues do arise during testing, or during off hours.
What Laboratory Coverage Should You Select?
The answer is it depends. It depends on personal preference for each laboratory, and their budget. It also depends on the size of the lab, the number of patients it deals with, the types of medical professionals which order testing, and other circumstances may come into play as well.
No two labs are alike, but there are many similarities in place with testing labs. So at a minimum, medical, property, and liability coverage, should be added onto even a minimum policy protection plan, in order to shield the laboratory, employees, and medical professionals, in the event problems arise during the normal course of business.
Which Insurer Should We Use?
Again, the answer will vary in each situation. It is however important to choose medical laboratories insurance Alaska policies from a reputable, well known insurer. If possible, a lab should also consider going through an insurer which specializes in this type of coverage, and has several different policies, or can custom tailor a policy for the specific lab's needs.
Not only does this ensure full coverage is afforded, but is also the best way to know you are fully protected, no matter what issues might arise, or accidents may occur when in the dangerous lab setting, and dealing with medical results/testing.
Alaska Medical Laboratories Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is low as samples are generally collected by health care providers. If samples are collected on premises, all areas accessible to the public 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. Good housekeeping is a must to reduce the exposure to slips, trips, and falls. Confidentiality of patient records is critical as the unauthorized release of information relating to a patient's medical and social history could result in personal injury.
Environmental impairment exposure is significant due to the potential for contaminating the air, ground, or water from 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 / Errors and Omissions exposure is extremely high. The exposure increases if the blood bank fails to conduct thorough background checks to verify employees' credentials, education, and licensing. Many medical decisions are made based on the results of diagnostic testing provided by laboratories. Incorrect interpretation of test results may delay diagnosis or treatment, or cause undue emotional distress to a client. Exact protocols must be followed. Needles and other equipment must be sterilized and sanitized to prevent the spread of blood-borne infectious diseases such as hepatitis, HIV, and AIDS. Sterile environments must be maintained in order to prevent contamination.
Workers compensation exposure can be very high as workers routinely handle test samples that may carry blood-borne pathogens. Gloves and masks must be worn at all times when working around any bodily fluids. Employees should have access to vaccinations to prevent diseases. Employees may receive puncture wounds from needles. Constant cleansing with disinfectants can result in dermatitis to exposed skin.
Back injuries, sprains, and strains can occur when assisting or lifting patients. Slips and falls can occur from tripping over objects or slick floors. Training and safety equipment should be in place to prevent exposure to radiation when performing X-rays. Since 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. If the laboratory picks up samples from health care providers, drivers may be injured in automobile accidents or suffer back injuries from lifting.
Property exposures can be high as laboratories rely on sophisticated high-value equipment for analyzing samples. Ignition sources include electrical wiring, heating, and air conditioning systems, and overheating of equipment. Wiring must be grounded, adequate for peak demands, and meet all current codes. Smoking should be prohibited. All laboratories require sterile conditions. A small fire could cause a total loss due to smoke contamination requiring re-sterilization.
Laboratories will commonly work with a variety of flammable and combustible chemicals. These should be stored in approved storage cabinets away from ignition sources and flammable materials. Business interruption and extra expense is significant due to the high cost of diagnostic equipment and the time it may take to repair or replace a damaged item.
Equipment breakdown exposure is high as operations are dependent on the equipment used in processing test samples. A breakdown could be costly due to the time to install replacement parts or the lack of appropriate backup facilities. All equipment should be maintained on an ongoing basis.
Crime exposures include employee dishonesty in the taking of inventory and false billings. Background checks, including criminal history, should be obtained on each employee prior to hiring. Ordering and billing must be handled by two different employees.
Inland marine exposure consists of accounts receivable if the laboratory bills for services, computers and valuable papers and records for patients' and suppliers' information as well as analysis reports. Analytical equipment may be computerized. Records should be duplicated and stored in an off-site facility.
Commercial auto exposure may be limited to hired and nonownership liability for employees running errands. All drivers should be licensed with acceptable MVRs. Vehicle maintenance should be ongoing and documented in a central location. If the lab picks up samples from health care providers, a spill could have an adverse impact on the environment or others with whom the sample comes into contact.
AK Medical Laboratories Insurance
Of course there are several different policy additions to consider when deciding on insurance for your AK medical laboratory. For this reason it is important to understand what is covered, what isn't, and what additional or optional policy protections should be added when choosing a medical lab insurance policy.
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 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.