It is crucial for ACOs to assist physician members with mitigating risk and driving down costs to enhance patient safety and improve clinical and financial outcomes in the private practice of medicine. There are many ways physicians can drive down medical malpractice costs, they just need to know the right questions to ask!
Before applying for a medical malpractice policy, it is imperative physicians inquire about the applicable discounts and loyalty programs the carriers have to offer in order to obtain the most competitive rate.
Discounts physicians should know about before purchasing coverage include:
- Discounts for being Loss Free/Claims Free – these are discounts offered to physicians who have been claims free for a certain period of time. Physicians should understand how the discount is applied and what it takes for the discount to be removed (open claim, closed claim with pay etc.) These discounts can be up to 30-35% off the annual premium.
- Risk Management Discounts – these discounts are offered to physicians for maintaining and participating in risk management courses, seminars, webinars, CME credits etc. These courses can save physicians roughly 5% off the annual premium and provide them with the knowledge to know what helps prevent a bad outcome from becoming a claim.
- Association Membership Program Discounts – carriers often partner with specialty associations, societies and programs across the country to offer physician members discounts as a benefit to membership
- Pay in Full Discounts – carriers will offer insured the option to pay in full to obtain additional discounts off their annual premium, typically 2-3%. If physicians prefer to pay throughout the year they should ask about financing options to facilitate cashflow and still take advantage of annual pay in full premium savings.
- Loyalty Programs & Dividends – many carriers offer annual dividends to policyholders to retain business and offer new insureds opportunity to share in the growth of the carrier. Some carriers offer other loyalty programs to award future returns at retirement.
Lastly, ACOs should consider implementing an exclusive medical malpractice insurance program for their members that in turn will retain and attract more physicians to the ACO. Carriers offer the most significant discounts to larger groups because they can pool risk together.
When you look for a professional to organize a Medical Malpractice Insurance program for your ACO, look for a partner who has worked with ACOs, specializes in Medical Malpractice, and can help physicians negotiate the lowest price when it comes to premium.