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Monthly Archives: July 2014

Five Important Facts about Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) for Healthcare Providers

Employment Practices Liability Insurance is becoming an important part of a Florida medical or dental practice’s insurance portfolio, as more and more healthcare providers face a potential lawsuit by a disgruntled employee. Instead of griping by the water fountain, employees are resorting to employment practices lawsuits that have the potential of crippling a medical or dental practice. Healthcare providers in Florida are purchasing Employment Practices Liability Insurance to protect their practices from suits for such things as: wrongful termination, discrimination, failure to promote, breach of contract, alleged sexual harassment, wrongful hiring, etc.

Here are five things a Physician, Surgeon, Oral Surgeon, or Dentist in Florida should know about Employment Practices Liability Insurance:

  • The average U.S. based business with at least 10 employees has a 12.5 percent chance of experiencing an employment practices-related lawsuit.
  • During FY 2011 – 15,796 individuals filed 16,974 complaints alleging employment discrimination against the federal government.
  • Wage and hour lawsuits have increased for seven straight years and have increased by 438 percent since 2000.
  • 7,764 Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) cases were filed during the yearlong period ending March 31, 2013, up 10% from 2012.
  • As of March 31, 2014, wage and hour lawsuits increased to 8,126, up 4.7 percent over the prior 12 month period.

While premiums are increasing, as more claims for Employment Practices Liability are filed against Physicians, Dentists and Oral Surgeons in Florida, there is still a competitive market for Employment Practices Liability Insurance. The bigger companies will provide excellent help in preparing employee manuals, offer webinars to staff, and generally provide risk management strategies. They retain the best labor attorneys to help their clients in the event of a lawsuit, and pay potential fines and penalties for their healthcare provider clients.

Based on an article published in Insurance Journal-National, June 16, 2016, page 14.

Barbara Gracey Backer

Barbara Gracey Backer is the Vice-President of Gracey-Backer, Inc., an Insurance Agency in Delray Beach, Florida specializing in All Lines of Professional and Personal Insurance. She may be contacted at 800-272-6055 X118 or at

Healthcare Reform and Medical Malpractice Insuranc

While no one really knows the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on Medical Malpractice Insurance in Florida, some assumptions can be made.
As more people become insured, the number of medical malpractice insurance claims against physicians and surgeons will increase. Compounding the issue is the fact that these newly-insured individuals are largely unfamiliar with the healthcare system.

The doctor-patient relationship is diminishing as expanded-care teams take over at different steps of the patient’s treatment program. For instance, nurses are taking on larger roles in the doctor’s office, and hospitalists, doctors who monitor the hospital stays of patients, are taking on medical center duties. The physician may diagnose a patient’s problem and then show up again for the out-of-hospital follow-up.

As a result of the Affordable Care Act, the Accountable Care Organization (ACO) model is gaining traction. Hospitals are purchasing smaller physician practices, hiring the doctors and nurses, and blending them all into ACOs. Patients are far less likely to be treated by and develop a trusting relationship with a single physician. Rather, the patient sees a number of professionals as he moves through the system.
Insurance Companies who specialize in medical malpractice insurance see this loss of personal connection to the patient by the medical community as ripe for med mal claims.

On the other hand, as hospitals buy up small physician practices around the country, the market for medical malpractice insurance shrinks. The hospitals who employ the physicians and surgeons pick up more of the risk. Insurers will be forced to compete harder for clients, creating pressure on rates.

Meanwhile, the ACO will standardize treatment methods. Some of this standardization will be good. Some will not be sound. The deep-pocketed hospitals will risk exposure to extreme lawsuits similar to the asbestos lawsuits of the 1980’s.

In addition to all this, the country is experiencing demographic changes which will surely impact medical malpractice insurance companies.

  • Americans are aging and requiring more care, thereby stressing the already overburdened system and a growing doctor shortage.
  • Physicians are also aging. Younger physicians want a better work/life balance which entails shorter working hours.
  • Americans are experiencing more obesity, leading to more diabetes, heart issues, cancer, and knee and joint problems.

All of these trends, and others we cannot anticipate, will lead to greater medical malpractice insurance exposures in the years ahead. Based on an article in the Insurance Journal-National, June 16, 2014.

Barbara Gracey Backer

Barbara Gracey Backer is the Vice-President of Gracey-Backer, Inc., an Insurance Agency in Delray Beach, Florida specializing in All Lines of Professional and Personal Insurance. She may be contacted at 800-272-6055 X118 or at

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