Reed Smith is recognized worldwide for its expertise in the health care industry. Health care providers pay substantial premiums for both liability and property insurance to protect their assets. Among the types of liability insurance most health care providers buy are malpractice insurance, general liability insurance, employment practices liability insurance, and — for corporations — directors and officers liability insurance. Physical assets are insured through various types of property insurance, including coverage for loss or damage to equipment, and business interruption insurance. Unfortunately, insurance companies are trying to limit their exposure to health care risks by narrowing coverage and looking harder for ways to avoid paying claims.
Reed Smith’s Insurance Recovery attorneys assist health care providers in getting full value for their premium dollars, working with them both before and after claims arise with regard to all types of insurance.
The most important insurance issue facing health care providers today is malpractice insurance. Reed Smith lawyers address a wide variety of issues under malpractice policies, including rejection of coverage because of alleged failure to report claims in a timely fashion; the obligations of excess malpractice carriers and state guarantee funds when primary carriers become insolvent; availability of policy limits where multiple claims have been made against the same policy; and making sure that insurers properly evaluate claims so that dangerous claims are disposed of properly and meritless claims are defended vigorously. Reed Smith attorneys also work with health care providers to review malpractice coverage at renewal time and before claims arise to assist in identifying possible gaps in coverage, as well as different ways to structure programs to help reduce costs.
Employment Practices Liability Coverage
Hospitals and nursing homes, in particular, are frequently faced with different types of employment practices claims, such as discrimination and harassment. Reed Smith lawyers work with hospitals to make sure that these claims are properly reported to the correct insurers and that the insurers fulfill their contractual obligations to defend and indemnify against such claims. Reed Smith attorneys are familiar with the interplay between general liability/employment practices liability policies and malpractice policies, and work with health care providers to make sure that all applicable coverage is made available. As with malpractice coverage, Reed Smith attorneys can assist health care providers, both mid-term and at renewal, to evaluate proposed changes in coverage and help identify any gaps that may exist.
Property and Business Interruption Coverage
Medical equipment is becoming more sophisticated and more expensive every year. Because of the expense and the potentially long lead times for acquisition of replacements, it is crucial that health care providers have proper insurance to protect against loss of or damage to that equipment, as well as the resulting loss of revenue. With malpractice insurance and ever reducing third-party reimbursement of health care costs in the forefront of everyone’s minds, some health care providers have put property and business interruption insurance on the back burner. Reed Smith attorneys assist health care providers in presenting claims under all available policies in the event of loss or damage. They also work with health care providers in buying property and business interruption insurance to make sure it is as broad as possible, and that property is insured to appropriate values.
Members of our team are seasoned trial lawyers. We leverage our success in court to aggressively negotiate with insurers, often enabling us to collect on policies while avoiding the expense of trial. When the need arises, our attorneys are experienced in trying cases in state and federal court, including bankruptcy proceedings. We also have significant experience in all forms of alternative dispute resolution including arbitration, mediation, and appraisal.