The healthcare industry has long faced numerous challenges as it delivers quality care to those who need it most. As technology advances, including a greater understanding of disease processes and the tools to treat illness, new risks emerge. Changing regulatory requirements, increased service demand, and workplace violence have also added to the complexities healthcare providers face in daily operations. U.S. Risk Underwriters is a leading brokerage of specialty insurance solutions for unique risk placements across industries. Insurance coverage forms the foundation of risk management in the healthcare sector, providing protection for facilities, employees, and patients alike. In this guide, we’ll explore some of the greatest risks facing healthcare providers in 2018.
Cyber Security Risks
Among emerging risks, the rise in cyber crimes has the healthcare sector scrambling to find solutions. As hospitals and care facilities adopt electronic records to monitor and treat their patients, cyber criminals have increased their attacks on these facilities in order to gain access to private information. Theft of information is only one of the potential cyber risks; denial of service attacks on IT infrastructure can mean interference with daily operations, including delivery of critical patient care. Specialized cyber liability insurance is designed to protect the financial assets of healthcare facilities in the face of a cyber crime, providing coverage for a range of expenses including patient notification, forensic analysis of the intrusion, legal costs and payments arising from legal challenges, and regulatory fines imposed by government agencies.
Violence in the Healthcare Workplace
An alarming trend across the healthcare industry is the staggering rates of on-site violence. According to records compiled by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), healthcare workers experienced workplace violence at rates over four times the private industry average; in 2013 alone, the average was 7.8 cases of serious violent incidents per 10,000 full-time healthcare employees.
In order to protect healthcare facilities and their personnel, organizations are implementing a variety of strategies that include the development of anti-violence workplace policies, enhanced staff training, and rigorous reporting tools. Government regulators have also passed legislation designed to protect employees from those who would commit violent acts.
Infection control has long been a part of the healthcare landscape. Unfortunately, so-called “superbugs”, or antibiotic-resistant strains of infectious bacteria, have created new concerns and challenges for the facilities treating patients, their staffs, and the patients themselves. The spread of infection in healthcare facilities, known in the sector as “healthcare-acquired infections” or HAIs, has resulted in billions of dollars in costs and thousands of deaths. A leading healthcare publication pinpointed the annual cost at nearly $10 billion in a research study published in 2013. Since then, costs have only crept higher. Responding to the spread of infections in facilities, healthcare providers and regulatory organizations have banded together to create infection control initiatives, including staff training, hygiene protocols, and public awareness campaigns.
Insurance for the Healthcare Industry
It is clear that the healthcare sector faces significant challenges as it delivers quality care to patients across the country. Emerging risks like cyber crime and workplace violence can drive up the costs associated with care delivery, and may negatively impact the financial assets of healthcare organizations. Infections spreading through healthcare facilities represent substantial annual costs as well. U.S. Risk Underwriters has been providing insurance solutions to the healthcare industry for nearly 50 years. By placing these unique and specialized risks, insurance brokers like U.S. Risk protect healthcare facilities and their employees from the losses associated with crime and workplace hazards. Risk management begins with insurance, both for liability concerns as well as in losses to assets and business interruption. With the right insurance policies and risk management practices in place, the healthcare sector can continue to deliver its services to the people who rely on its quality care.
About U.S. Risk
U.S. Risk Insurance Group, Inc. is a wholesale broker and specialty lines underwriting manager providing a wide range of specialty insurance products and services. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas and operating 16 domestic and international branches, U.S. Risk and its affiliates would like to help you access a world of new markets and products. For more information, contact us today at (800) 232-5830.