Frequently Asked Questions

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What is Wealth Guard?

Wealth Guard is a supplemental legal insurance policy designed specifically for the unique needs of the practicing Healthcare professional.

Is it Similar to My Malpractice Insurance?

It is similar in the way that it is there to protect you and your practice from legal threats but it works differently than traditional malpractice insurance. In fact, Wealth Guard was created specifically to fill the “gaps” that traditional malpractice insurance does not provide.

When You Say “the Gaps That Traditional Malpractice Does Not Provide”, Exactly What Does That Mean?

We break it into three “gaps”:

  • Excess Judgment. Most healthcare professionals, particularly high liability medical doctors, only carry a $250,000 limit on their medmal insurance. Unfortunately, even a moderate size judgment can exceed those policy limits.
  • Licensure and Audit defense. Although some policies offer a small licensure defense rider, the limits are inadequate and normally limited to lower frequency liability threats. One of the greatest increased threats to the modern practitioner is third party payer audits, particularly Medicare contractor audits. The massive expansion in these investigations combined with the threatening, indiscriminate and arbitrary manner they are performed may be the biggest threat of all.
  • Independent “Second Opinion” Malpractice and Legal Defense. Although your malpractice carrier will always make good faith efforts to defend you, the fact remains that there is an inevitable conflict of interest based on legal/statutory realities. Your medmal insurance company has an obligation to protect their institution and their shareholders. Unfortunately, the playing field is not to your benefit. Your malpractice carrier chooses your defense counsel and determines whether you fight or settle. Worse than that, if you suffer aJudgment above your policy limits the insurance carrier is not obligated to pay anything in excess of policy limits! When it comes to something as important to your reputation and your financial well being, you need to have your own legal counsel that does not have a “dog in the fight”.
  • How does Wealth Guard Protect From Excess Medical Judgments?

    Asset Protection. One of the key components of Wealth Guard is an asset protection assessment and recommendation letter from one of the country’s leading asset protection teams. You will have the peace of mind that you can legally protect your practice and your family from potential creditors.

    Is Asset Protection Legal?

    Asset protection is legal but is most effective when undertaken in the context of estate, financial and business planning and well in advance of any creditor claims.

    What if I Have Already Had an Existing Threat of Litigation?

    Any planning done at this time is unlikely to be effective against that creditor and could generate additional liability. There may be limited steps that can be taken, however. Additionally, the planning could be effective against future creditors.

    What Exactly is Asset Protection First?

    It is important to note that asset protection does not involve hiding assets. Asset protection is a process involving the re-titling of assets into assets that are either exempt from the claims of creditors under Florida law or into a business entity that offers certain protection from the claims of creditors. By erecting barriers “around” assets, the goal of the planning is to remove the economic incentive for a creditor to sue and increase your ability to negotiate a favorable settlement of a claim.

    If I Have Wealth Guard Do I Still Need My Medmal Insurance?

    Wealth Guard and or asset protection is NOT a substitute for medical malpractice insurance. We believe the BEST professional liability risk management plan should include asset protection combined with an affordable medical malpractice insurance policy issued by a trustworthy insurance provider. Wealth Guard and its team of experts have a long standing historical perspective and are acutely alert to liability trends in the healthcare marketplace. Although, every insurance decision is a personal decision, we are of the opinion that asset protection combined with traditional indemnity malpractice insurance will dramatically mitigate professional liability exposure and likely deter intent to sue from reaching full engagement. The combined message of a vigorous defense, with limited collectability, and the confidence of an indemnity pool should give the professional the highest level of confidence to defend their reputation while continuing to provide exceptional healthcare services.

    Wealth Guard Offers Third Party Payer Audit Defense, What Does That Mean?

    The Centers for Medicare/Medicaid Services (CMS) has become increasingly aggressive in their efforts to target perceived over payments for physician services. Any physician providing services under Medicare Part A or Part B can be the subject of a claims review. Recovery Audit Contractors (RAC) can show up unannounced at any time to conduct a review and a recent expansion of the program means more medical practices are likely be audited.In addition, today’s physicians also face state Medicaid audits, HIPAA-compliance audits along with tougher internal revenue service requirements. A front office employee’s miscoding of a procedure could result in a subpoena for you. Wealth Guard can help relieve some of the burden associated with the business side of medicine. Our coverage includes a no-deductible professional regulatory and licensure defense up to $75,000.

    What is the Medical Malpractice Second Opinion Review?

    In most states, once your malpractice insurer is notified that a malpractice claim has been filed, it’s out of your hands. Most state statutes grant the insurer authority to choose an attorney for your case and decide whether to settle or fight the claim, leaving you absolutely no say in the matter. What’s more… the insurer is protected against judgments that exceed policy limits, which means the responsibility to pay the excess falls squarely on the physician.

    Wealth Guard legal experts will review your case and offer an unbiased opinion of your potential exposure based on Florida case law. Unlike the insurance company whose goal is to protect their own interests, Wealth Guard is looking out for you.

    I Outsource My Billings to a Third Party Biller, So Do I Have Exposure?

    It is the provider of medical services that faces the largest threat as they will be the ones audited by the government and commercial payer for services rendered under their national provider identification number (NPI).

    Are We Covered Under Other Insurance Policies?

    Regulatory coverage is typically not included in policies carried by an insured, including medical malpractice, general liability and misc E&O policies. If any should be found, attention should be spent on minding the gap between these policies, including limitations on how a claim may be covered, fines and penalties and full unknown prior acts coverage.

    Is the Statute of Limitations for Improper Billing Allegations Six Years?

    Lookback periods and statutes of limitations do not apply when the Federal government enters an audit. In other words, if the OIG, DOJ, FBI or State Attorney General become involved in an audit, it is possible that a physician can have their records reviewed as far back as 11 years.

    Do I Still Need Data Breach Insurance if I Have an IT Manager,and We’ve Increased Security Measures?

    More than 500 million records have been breached since 2005, making it very likely that an organization is susceptible. Even with the best possible safeguards in place, the threat of a rogue employee is real with greater than 84% of companies stating that their own employees violated security and compliance practices.

    Are We Covered Under Our General Liability Insurance Policy?

    Electronic data is not tangible property and is typically not covered under a general liability policy. Property insurance, crime insurance and professional errors and omissions insurance do not typically provide cyber liability coverage and notification requirement expenses.

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