Today's Veterinary Business

DEC 2018

Today’s Veterinary Business provides information and resources designed to help veterinarians and office management improve the financial performance of their practices, allowing them to increase the level of patient care and client service.

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relief. Individual policies are not required when business coverage is in effect. Here's what you should look for: Adequate limits. Small animal veterinarians should consider minimum coverage of $1 million to $2 million per oc- currence. Veterinarians working with herds and high-value animals should contemplate higher limits. Consult your attorney for specific recommendations. Why million-dollar coverage? Consider the following case study. A family brought a new puppy into a veterinary practice for a phys- ical exam, fecal test and vaccines. The puppy appeared healthy, the fecal exam was negative, and appro- priate immunization vaccines were administered. The client returned with the puppy, as instructed, until the initial well-puppy protocol es- tablished by the attending veteri- narian was completed. Four months later, the veterinarian was served with a lawsuit alleging negligence in the delivery of veterinary services during the puppy's treatment. The suit claimed the standard of care as defined by the Companion Ani- mal Parasite Council dictated that their puppy should have received a deworming treatment protocol regardless of repeated negative fecal results. The injury noted in the lawsuit was permanent loss of vision in the left eye of the family's 4-year- old son because of intraocular ascar- id migration. The court awarded damages of $1.3 million. Defense attorneys. Whom does the insurer use for claims defense? Ensure that only nationally recognized veterinary civil litigation specialists are hired. Consent to settle. Your reputation is at risk, so ensure that no claim can be settled without your written consent or a court order. No hammer clause. A ham- mer clause states that if you refuse to agree to the settlement your insurance company has nego- tiated, you may become financially responsible for all or a significant portion of any additional legal expenses and judgments. Make sure your policy does not include a hammer clause. Knowledgeable claims adjusters. Inquire about the claims specialists' experience. Request an adjuster who specializ- es in veterinary litigation. Expert witnesses. Confirm that your insurer utilizes experts on your behalf. If you think you might be sued or if you are, remember to: • Report all claims immediately to your insurance company. • Report all potential claims aris- ing from a disgruntled client or a poor therapeutic outcome. Inform the claims represen- tative that the report is "for information purposes only." • Get confirmation from your insurance representative that no settlement will be made without your approval. • Always demonstrate concern and compassion for the client and the pet when discussing a miscommunication or neg- ative therapeutic outcome. • Apologize to the client, if appropriate. However, Business PROTECT & DEFEND 1 2 3 4 5 6 Consequently, pet owners are turning to state veterinary licensing bodies for emotional restitution. Though they can't seek financial relief from the state agencies, the owners can adversely affect a vet- erinarian's professional reputation and ability to practice. Liability insurance designed to defend a veterinarian against alle- gations of professional wrongdo- ing, whether lodged in a lawsuit or state board complaint, is available at a very reasonable cost. Let's explore further. Professional Liability Insurance Liability policies protect and defend a veterinarian against civil allegations of negligence or mal- practice resulting from the deliv- ery of services below the standard of care. The basic types of professional liability policies are: • Individual: A single veter- inarian is identified on the insurance policy. • Business: The business entity is the named policy- holder. Coverage includes the business and all veterinarians and staff members working on behalf of the hospital regardless of whether they are full time, part time or Protection designed with you in mind. The Safehold Veterinary Insurance program is VSHFLÀFDOO\GHVLJQHGWRDGGUHVVWKHXQLTXHFRYHUDJH QHHGVRIYHWHULQDULDQVDQGWKHVHUYLFHVWKH\SURYLGH :HSURYLGHDFFHVVWRKLJKTXDOLW\LQVXUDQFHSURGXFWV DWYHU\FRPSHWLWLYHSULFHVKHOSLQJSURWHFWOLFHQVHG YHWHULQDULDQVLQHYHU\VWDWH Our proprietary program is led by an experienced YHWHULQDULDQDQGLQFOXGHVNH\FRYHUDJHVIRUWRGD\·V YHWHULQDU\VHUYLFHSUDFWLWLRQHUV Available coverages include: :RUNHUV·&RPSHQVDWLRQ %XVLQHVV2ZQHUV· 3URIHVVLRQDO/LDELOLW\ 3DFNDJH3ROLF\ %XLOGHUV·5LVN &\EHU/LDELOLW\ • Umbrella %XVLQHVV$XWR (PSOR\PHQW3UDFWLFHV 'LUHFWRUVDQG2IÀFHUV Liability Liability Contact us today to see how Safehold can help protect you and your practice: edward.branam @safehold.com Products and services are offered through Safehold Special Risk, Inc., dba Safehold Special Risk & Insurance Services, Inc. in California. Coverage is provided by unaffiliated insurance companies. © 2018 Safehold Special Risk, Inc. All rights reserved.

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