PHYSICIAN INSURANCE: Lawyer Proposes Audit Protection
Physicians and other health care providers can now purchase insurance to protect themselves from "wrongful" government audits, the Miami Herald reports. Miami health care lawyer Craig Brand devised the idea, which is now backed by Fulcrum Insurance Company of New York and went on sale this month. Brand said, "Medicare can conduct an audit and make an affirmative statement that the doctor owes an extreme amount of money for very little justification at all. It's backwards for physicians. They are guilty until proven innocent." For a premium of between $4,000 and $6,000 each year, the insurance will pay up to $5 million for any government-levied fine and will cover up to $1 million worth of legal fees. The policy excludes criminal activity, fraud, intentional misconduct, billings for services not performed or computer malfunctions. Brand said his firm is prepared to defend physicians, but those with the insurance can choose their own representation. "We look at this as being the best thing since sliced bread," he said (2/7).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.