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Malpractice for Doctors



May 23, 2017

The State of Florida has as a core belief that injured workers must have some form of relief if they are injured or become ill as the result of their workplace environment. In keeping with this objective, a Florida business needs to purchase a workers’ compensation insurance policy as follows. If:

  • The business is in an industry other than construction and it has four (4) or more employees, full-time or part-time (Corporate officers that have correctly filed exemptions with the state do not count as employees).
  • The business is in the construction industry and has one (1) or more employees (Corporate officers that have correctly filed exemptions with the state or a member of a limited liability company do not count as employees).
  • You are a farmer and have more than five (5) regular employees and/or twelve (12) or more other workers for seasonal agricultural labor lasting thirty (30) days or more.

If a Florida business cannot show proof of Workers’ Compensation insurance coverage, the State will seek civil enforcement. Specifically, the Florida business will be subject to a penalty equal to two times the amount the business should have paid within the preceding two year period.

If an employer commits one of the following infractions, a Stop-Work-Order (SW0) will be issued:

  • The employer understates payroll in an attempt to reduce the Workers’ Compensation insurance premium;
  • An employer misrepresents the employee’s duties in an effort to reduce the workers’ compensation insurance classification;
  • An employer otherwise attempts to avoid paying Workers’ Compensation insurance premiums.

We are finding that many small businesses in Florida are facing fines and penalties as described above because Florida state investigators are “popping in” to their offices unannounced and discovering that they don’t carry Workers’ Compensation insurance.

Call our offices at 1-800-272-6055 for more information on our Workers’ Compensation dividend program for healthcare providers, which provides a 30% dividend if no losses and guarantees a 10% dividend even with losses.

David C. Backer


David C. Backer, of Gracey-Backer, Inc., an Insurance Agency in Delray Beach, Florida specializing in All Lines of Malpractice, Professional and Personal Insurance. He can be contacted at 800-272-6055 ext 114, or at david@gbifl.com.



April 25, 2017

It seems like we are getting calls every day from physician and dental offices which are facing fines and penalties because investigators discover that they don’t carry Florida Workers’ Compensation Insurance. State investigators conduct routine job-site inspections of physician and dental offices to ensure compliance with the Florida Workers’ Compensation law. When a physician or dentist employer is operating without the required Workers’ Compensation coverage, civil enforcement action is taken immediately. According to Workers’ Compensation fraud investigators with the State of Florida, these physician and dental practices face hefty fines and penalties for not carrying Workers’ Compensation coverage for their employees. It is illegal in the state of Florida for physician or dental practices to not carry Workers’ Compensation insurance if required.

A physician or dentist is required to carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance if:

  • They have four (4) or more employees, full-time or part-time. An exempted corporate officer does not count as an employee.

If you, as a physician or dental employer, are inspected and cannot show proof of Workers’ Compensation coverage, civil enforcement action is taken. You will be subject to a Woorkers’ Compensation penalty equal to two times the amount you should have paid within the preceding two year period (based on your Workers’ Comp code). The fine is usually required to be paid within 90 days and some payment plans are available. Additionally, a Stop-Work Order (SWO) may also be issued if a physician or dental employer:

  • Understates or conceals payroll in an attempt to reduce the Workers’ Compensation premium;
  • Misrepresents or conceals employee duties in an effort to secure a lower Workers’ Compensation physician or dental classification;
  • Otherwise attempts to avoid paying workers’ compensation premiums.

Remember that it is against the Florida Workers’ Compensation law for a physician or dental employer to:

  • Work without Workers’ Compensation Insurance when required to do so;
  • Work in violation of a Stop-Work Order;
  • Make a false statement for the purpose of obtaining Workers’ Compensation insurance coverage or to reduce Workers’ Compensation premiums;
  • Fail to report an injury to the Workers’ Compensation insurance carrier;
  • Discharge or threaten to discharge an employee for filing or attempting to file a Workers’ Compensation claim;
  • Deduct the Workers’ Compensation premium from an employee’s pay;
  • Misclassify an employee as an independent contractor for the purpose of avoiding paying the proper Workers’ Compensation premium.

A Florida Workers’ Compensation policy can be issued in as little as 24 hours. Contact us today and avoid costly penalties and possible felony charges.




December 20, 2016

With many different medical malpractice insurance companies vying for your business, how does a healthcare professional choose the best company for his or her particular needs?

We suggest that a physician or surgeon use an independent agent with experience in this specialized type of insurance. Through the years, companies have come in and out of the Florida market. Rates have risen and fallen. It is important to choose a strong malpractice carrier who can carry you through the ups and downs of the marketplace.

The financial strength of your insurance carrier is an extremely important consideration. A.M. Best, Inc. is the most widely respected rating agency for the insurance industry. It basically issues financial strength ratings measuring an insurance company’s ability to pay claims. An A.M. Best rating of “A-“ or better is preferable when choosing a medical malpractice insurance company.

Obviously, the premium charged by the medical malpractice insurance company is a very important component of the decision. It is important to delve a little deeper if a premium is too much lower than the competition. We have seen carriers charge too little to gain the business and then either raise the premium later or leave the marketplace altogether.
Medical malpractice insurance carriers offer varying degrees of premium discounts for the following:

  • New practitioners
  • Part-time practice
  • Completion of a risk management course
  • Claims-free practice

Be sure to take advantage of these discounts.

A medical malpractice insurance agent who specializes in this complicated form of insurance and who represents a wide range of carriers can help you find the best company for your particular needs.

If you are interested in learning more about medical malpractice insurance, or to receive a no obligation quote, please contact us at 1-800-272-6055.

David C. Backer


David C. Backer, of Gracey-Backer, Inc., an Insurance Agency in Delray Beach, Florida specializing in All Lines of Malpractice, Professional and Personal Insurance. He can be contacted at 800-272-6055 ext 114, or at david@gbifl.com.



December 6, 2016

The HIPAA/HITECH federal law, which became effective on March 26, 2013, put real teeth into a healthcare provider’s responsibilities regarding the use, collection and disclosure of Personal Health Information (PHI). In today’s environment, the potential release of personal health information or sensitive data because of a cyber attack, computer virus, improper disposal of paper records, insider criminal activity, technological malfunctions or even an employee mistake such as a lost or stolen laptop is a very serious concern. Offices of healthcare providers are especially vulnerable because they:

  • Take in client social security numbers;
  • Accept insurance;
  • Take Medicare/Medicaid;
  • Have a website or use an email;
  • Use third party vendors;
  • Process credit cards;
  • Utilize bank account information;
  • Store healthcare records and other non-public information.

A physician’s office may have firewalls, virus protection, anti-spam systems, and procedures to protect passwords and prevent employees from downloading dangerous material. But these measures are not foolproof. Failure to comply with the HIPAA/HITECH law could result in a fine of up to $1,500,000! In addition, the out- of-pocket costs without proper insurance coverage are staggering:

  • Credit monitoring costs (estimated at $20 to $30 per record)
  • Notification costs (estimated at over $200 per record)
  • Significant attorney costs

The law requires that, among others, the following assurances be in place to safeguard personal health information:

  • Business Associate Agreements requirements;
  • Requirements to provide patients with electronic copies of their records;
  • Mandates requiring businesses to have in place the following to protect personal health information;
    • Confidentiality procedures
    • Data encryption for electronic health record systems
    • Incident response plans in the event of a data breach
    • Staff training to promote compliance

A cyber liability insurance policy assists insureds in meeting the terms of these new strict regulations, enforced by the Office of Civil Rights. If you have a data breach, you can literally make one phone call to the “Breach Response Service” and they will take over.

The following coverages are provided under a cyber liability policy:

  • Information Security and Privacy Liability Insurance—coverage for third party claims alleging a financial loss as a result of a breach;
  • Regulatory Defense and Penalties Insurance– Coverage for forensic expenses (to determine the extent of the breach) as well as defense costs and fines/penalties for violations of privacy regulations;
  • Website Media Content Liability Insurance– Coverage for online and offline media. Includes coverage for claims alleging copyright/trademark infringement, libel/slander, false advertising, plagarism, and personal injury;
  • Privacy Breach Response Services Insurance- Includes all reasonable legal, public relations, advertising, IT forensic, credit monitoring and postage expenses incurred by the insured for notifying a third party of a pricacy breach;
  • Data Recovery Costs Insurance – Includes all reasonable and necessary sums required to recover and/or replace data that is compromised, damaged, lost, erased or corrupted;
  • Cyber Extortion Insurance – Coverage for extortion expenses and extortion monies as a direct result of a credible cyber extortion threat.

In addition, policyholders have access to tools to create policies and procedures in their practices as well as monthly newsletters to keep them abreast of the changing law. Online templates are available to create privacy notices, sample policies and procedures manuals, training courses for employees and security officers, phone and email support. You will also have online access to consultants and attorneys on data security issues.

John Gracey Backer, CPA


John Gracey Backer, CPA, is the Treasurer of Gracey-Backer, Inc., an Insurance Agency in Delray Beach, Florida specializing in All Lines of Malpractice, Professional and Personal Insurance for the Healthcare Provider. He can be contacted at 800-272-6055 ext 128, or at john@gbifl.com.



September 20, 2016

Medical professional liability insurance, commonly known as medical malpractice insurance, is a type of professional liability insurance. It protects licensed health care providers (physicians, dentists, nurses, etc. and healthcare facilities) from liability associated with wrongful practices which result in bodily injury, medical expenses, property damage, as well as the legal expenses associated with the claims.

Medical malpractice occurs when the healthcare provider is determined to have deviated from the generally accepted “standard of care”, or what a prudent healthcare provider would do or would not do in a similar situation.

Most medical malpractice insurance policies cover a physician’s conduct as a member of a peer review panel. Typically, he is open to a medical malpractice lawsuit if it is deemed that his decision was inappropriate and caused a loss of income for the claimant.

Even if the healthcare professional has not deviated from the recognized standard of care, he can still be sued. He may prevail in a court of law, but the process is very expensive, time-consuming, and devastating to his emotional and mental health. He can turn to his medical malpractice insurance to cover costs, including:

  • Attorneys’ fees and court costs;
  • Arbitration costs;
  • Settlement costs;
  • Punitive and compensatory damages;
  • Medical damages;

Typical exclusions on a medical malpractice insurance policy include liability arising from alleged sexual harassment, criminal acts, misrepresentation on the application for medical malpractice insurance, hospital or laboratory administration, and deliberate alteration of medical records.

If you are interested in learning more about medical malpractice insurance, or to receive a no-obligation quote, please contact us at 1-800-272-6055.

David C. Backer


David C. Backer, of Gracey-Backer, Inc., an Insurance Agency in Delray Beach, Florida specializing in All Lines of Malpractice, Professional and Personal Insurance. He can be contacted at 800-272-6055 ext 114, or at david@gbifl.com.


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