By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law
Many nurses, nurse practitioners, and certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) carry professional malpractice insurance through NORCAL Mutual Insurance or one of the other similar insurance companies. This insurance is inexpensive and provides excellent coverage.
What you may not realize, however, is that such insurance provides many added benefits, other than just coverage on nursing liability lawsuits, provided you have obtained the additional coverage from it. It will pay for legal defense expenses if there is a complaint filed against your nursing license. It will pay legal expenses for a lawyer to get involved and represent you if you receive a subpoena to testify or provide records. It will cover you if you have a HIPAA complaint or breach of medical privacy complaint filed against you.
We don’t get paid to write blogs like this. We just do it because we know so many nurses and other health professionals either have no professional liability insurance or have only partial coverage when they need the broadest coverage available. NORCAL is one of the insurance companies that we know provides such coverage to health professionals.
Advantages of Having Liability Insurance.
The medical professional’s NORCAL Insurance covers can give a sigh of relief knowing they have excellent insurance coverage. This type of insurance provides professional liability coverage that protects them in the event of a lawsuit or negligence claim. However, it’s not just the significant professional negligence cases that NORCAL covers.
More often than not, nurses and other healthcare professionals receive a notice of an investigation, a subpoena for a deposition in someone else’s case, a demand because of an allegation of sexual harassment or sexual impropriety, a complaint because of a breach of medical records confidentiality, or a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy complaint, or some other administrative type of action. These situations can be incredibly stressful and time-consuming, but NORCAL provides excellent coverage.
Whether you’re a nurse, pharmacist, mental health counselor, psychologist, or other healthcare professional, knowledgeable and skilled attorneys can assist you with legal issues.
NORCAL Insurance Additional Coverage Endorsements You Should Have
As long as you have obtained the additional endorsements available (ask your insurance agent or call NORCAL to make sure), your policy should contain the following coverages:
Administrative Defense Coverage
Provides coverage to pay for your legal defense fees and expenses associated with:
Nursing and professional license complaints and investigations;
Clinical privileges actions, peer review actions and fair hearings;
Employment practices (alleged discrimination and harassment);
Billing errors (insurance billing, Medicare billing, Medicaid billing);
EMTALA proceedings and complaint investigations;
CLIA proceedings and investigations;
Stark Act violations, complaints and investigations;
Other administrative actions that may result in fines and penalties (e.g., DEA complaints and orders to show cause (OTSC), FDA investigations and complaints for civil monetary penalties.
Information and Network Security Coverage
This endorsement provides substantial coverage for a wide variety of potential costs related to information security, including:
Information & network security liability (protection against claims alleging unauthorized release of personal information, violations of information privacy law, or unauthorized use of/access to your computer system);
Media liability (defense of claims arising from material published on the Internet, on a website, YouTube, TikTok, in advertisements, etc., including allegations of libel, slander, copyright infringement, or trademark violations);
Regulatory privacy proceedings and regulatory fines and penalties (defense of HIPAA violations, state and federal information privacy law violations, etc.);
Customer notification and credit monitoring expenses (coverage for expenses incurred as a result of information breaches, including costs of notifying affected parties and providing them with credit monitoring services);
Electronic data recovery and replacement expenses (coverage for expenses incurred to recover or replace electronic data lost or damaged because of a computer virus, hacking or other system invasion);
Cyber extortion; and
Our firm can provide legal representation for most of the areas described above.
Free Legal Advice: Get Good Broad Insurance Coverage Now!
As a healthcare professional, it is essential to understand the importance of carrying a policy providing broad insurance coverage that covers any investigation, complaint, or administrative hearing that may be filed or opened against your license. Many healthcare professionals mistakenly believe their employer will cover them in such situations, but this is not always true. In fact, it is usually untrue.
Unfortunately, in many cases, the employer terminates an employee and then files a complaint with the Department of Health (DOH). This can result in the DOH opening an investigation against the healthcare professional, leaving them vulnerable to potential legal action. In such cases, the employer is unlikely to pay for the nurses’s legal defense costs, leaving the professional in a difficult position.
If you find yourself in this situation, you may be out of work, out of money, and facing an investigation and complaint that could result in your professional license and career termination. Taking proactive steps to protect yourself and your career is essential by investing in insurance that covers legal defense costs.
NORCAL Insurance is both inexpensive and reliable. By purchasing this insurance, while you can afford it, you can rest assured that you will have the legal support you need in case of a complaint or investigation against your nursing license.
We Recommend That You Seek the Services of an Experienced Attorney in the Event of Any Notice of an Investigation.
If you work as a nurse in the healthcare industry, you must be aware of the potential legal issues that could arise. One such issue is disciplinary action or licensure investigations. If you find yourself in this situation, seeking an experienced health law attorney is crucial. Don’t speak with investigators or provide documents or statements without seeking legal advice.
It’s important to remember that investigators and other professionals involved in the investigation are not on your side. They are looking for evidence against you, so don’t take any advice from them. Instead, rely on the guidance of a skilled attorney who can protect your rights and interests.
Another important consideration is insurance coverage. If you have good insurance, it can help cover the costs of legal expenses from the outset. However, not all insurance policies cover disciplinary complaints and licensure investigations. Be sure to check your policy carefully and ensure this type of coverage is included. If not, consider purchasing a separate policy that provides this coverage. It may cost extra, but it’s worth protecting yourself in case of a legal issue. It is worth it! Please do it!
Contact Health Law Attorneys Experienced in Representing Nurses.
The Health Law Firm’s attorneys routinely represent nurses in Board of Nursing investigations and complaints, DORA investigations and complaints, and Department of Health (DOH) investigations and complaints. We appear before the Board of Nursing in licensing matters and in many other legal matters. We represent advance practice nurses (APRNs) and certified nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) as well as other professionals in hospital clinical privileges actions, HIPAA privacy complaints, DEA actions, and many other types of proceedings. We represent nurses and physicians across the U.S., not just in Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
We also handle DEA actions and other legal matters. Our team frequently defends physicians, dentists, nurse practitioners, and others against malpractice claims, civil lawsuits, administrative complaints, peer review actions, and audits by Medicare and Medicaid. If a nurse or healthcare professional has liability insurance that covers these types of claims, we will work to obtain coverage and seek reimbursement for legal fees. In some cases, we may accept an assignment of insurance policy proceeds to directly submit our bills to the insurance company.
We also defend health professionals and health facilities in general litigation matters and business litigation matters, in state and federal courts.
To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or Toll-Free at (888) 331-6620 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com
About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law; he is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in Orlando, Florida, area. www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Avenue, Suite 1000, Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620 or Toll-Free: (888) 331-6620.
Attorney Positions with The Health Law Firm. The Health Law Firm is always looking for qualified attorneys interested in health law practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. If you are a member of The Florida Bar and are interested, forward a cover letter and your resume to: KBrant@TheHealthLawFirm.com or fax to: (407) 331-3030.
“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of and a registered service mark of The Health Law Firm, P.A., a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
Copyright © 2023 George F. Indest III. All rights reserved.