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Malpractice Insurance: Do Medical Transcriptionists Need It?
Information regarding malpractice insurance for MTs while doing an assignment for a Medical Law & Bioethics class.
There is much debate in the MT field of whether malpractice or E O; insurance is even necessary. With malpractice insurance, the argument is that a Medical Transcriptionist doesn't work in direct contact with patients and therefore wouldn't be sued for malpractice. In fact, in all the sites that I have browsed and read through, there has never been one case in which an MT has been a defendant, co-defendant or even a third-party defendant in a malpractice suit. With E O; insurance the arguments range from "[obtaining this insurance] gives attorneys a whole new field to target when it comes to litigation and 'deep pockets' when they know we have insurance"â€to "Logic says that the physician is the author of the document, has signed it, and therefore signifies that the information contained therein is accurate"â€ . These are some pretty solid arguments; after all, one can only transcribe what one has been given, not to mention the fact that a signature on a transcribed document is in effect a statement that all information is correct. Any responsibility for errors and/or omissions contained in the document is then the physicians.
While I can understand why some may have fears that carrying either of these insurances will only make you more susceptible to a lawsuit, I personally feel that in the end it is always good practice to be fully prepared. Though not common, an MT can be sued for reasons other than making an error or omission in their transcription. One example would be if a transcribed document got faxed to the wrong fax number and subsequently the patient's confidential information revealed to the wrong party(s). Another example would be a computer hacker. This is a very common occurrence, yet one that most people don't even think about. The mentality of "it won't happen to me" could ultimately get you in a lot of trouble. If you were to be working on a transcription on your computer, stepped away and left your modem running, a hacker could easily tap into your files and retrieve and/or alter confidential patient information. There are of course other situations that could occur in which you may be sued, but the breach of patient confidentiality - whether intentional or not - is a big one.
It is my opinion that obtaining some sort of liability insurance is a very good idea, especially in the case of an Independent Medical Transcriptionist. I also believe that even if you are employed and your employer has malpractice/liability insurance with a rider which covers employee's mistakes, it is still a good idea to have your own. After all, it is not unheard of for an employer to sue his/her employee in the attempt to recover some of the money that s/he may have had to pay for damages caused.
Business Insurance Now, Coverages Explained. Retrieved October 20, 2020, from
HPSO, Malpractice Insurance for Allied Healthcare Providers. Retrieved October 20, 2020, from
â€ MTDaily, Medical Transcription Insurance. Retrieved October 20, 2020, from
AHDI, Professional Liability Insurance. Retrieved October 20, 2020, from