Q. Within the next year, I will be starting a private practice and am
now choosing a medical malpractice insurance policy. I noticed that coverage
for administrative actions is included in the Psychiatrists' Program policy.
Could you please explain this coverage and why I need to have a policy that
A. An administrative action is a complaint filed by a patient with
the psychiatrist's state licensure board or professional membership
organization. Sometimes complaints are also filed with the psychiatrist's
affiliated health care and managed care organizations. In an administrative
action, a patient may allege that the psychiatrist is guilty of unprofessional
conduct and should be sanctioned for that behavior.
It is not difficult for a patient to initiate an administrative action.
Many organizations already have procedures for receiving and reviewing
Administrative actions are different from malpractice lawsuits because the
patient does not have to prove negligence and damages. The psychiatrist may
spend a lot of time and money until the patient's allegations are proved
The Psychiatrists' Program recognizes that malpractice suits are not the
only reasons you need good insurance coverage. Administrative actions brought
forth by state licensing boards, managed care organizations, hospitals, or
health care organizations can financially impact your psychiatric practice. In
addition, investigations by federal and state government agencies may also
incur high and unexpected costs.
The Program has responded by providing coverage for these needs. The policy
provides both administrative and governmental billing defense coverage with
limits of $50,000/$100,000 at no additional cost.
Coverage includes legal expenses associated with preparing a legal defense
for administrative, governmental-billing, and coding-error actions.
Furthermore, if an action is brought forth, participants have access to a team
of experienced defense attorneys who understand the intricacies of mental
For more information, contact Professional Risk Management Services Inc.
(see contact information at end of article).
Q. My colleague attended a psychiatric-specific risk management seminar
presented by Professional Risk Management Services in Orlando and found it
quite helpful. Are there any other full-day seminars planned?
A. Yes. Professional Risk Management Services is presenting"
From Theory to Practice: Risk Management and Patient Safety" on
September 30 in Columbus, Ohio. This seminar will address categories of
clinical courses of action that can be taken with dangerous patients, steps
that can reduce malpractice liability exposure associated with prescribing
psychotropic medications, risk management strategies to reduce risk when
treating patients with suicidal behaviors, as well as other topics that will
help minimize professional liability risks.
Registration for this full-day seminar is $395, which includes the seminar
materials, lunch, and refreshments during breaks. Discounts are available for
early career psychiatrists and members-in-training. The seminar is free of
charge for current Psychiatrists' Program participants, who are then also
eligible to receive a 5 percent premium reduction on their Program insurance
Those unable to attend this seminar may purchase the materials, resources,
and handouts for $99. Participants in the Psychiatrists' Program unable to
attend the seminar can purchase the materials for $35. To register, purchase
the seminar materials, or view a full agenda, go to<www.prms.com>
or call (800) 245-3333, ext. 347.
If you would like to receive e-mail updates regarding future seminars,
please send an e-mail to
This column is provided by PRMS, manager of the Psychiatrists'
Program, for the benefit of members. More information about the Program is
available by visiting its Web site at<www.psychprogram.com>;
calling (800) 245-3333, ext. 389; or sending an e-mail to