Before beginning your Healthcare career or starting your own practice, you will most likely already have some personal assets and, as you grow, those assets will hopefully grow along with you. Protection do Doctors Need Without the proper legal protections, you could risk losing all of those assets after one bad outcome.
Medicine is not perfect and there will be a time in every doctor’s career where a problem will arise after they have diagnosed a patient, made a prescription, or performed surgery. Protection do Doctors Need is normal for medical companies to face malpractice suits even when each employee is doing their best and is not-at-fault. The common occurrence of these suits should encourage you to make sure you protect your personal assets, however.
Litigation to be Prepared For
The reason that insurance alone will not protect you or your practice enough is because of the various types of litigation and situations that you as a physician need to be prepared to deal with in your career. Any of the following could come up at some point during your practice:
- Medical Malpractice Lawsuits: The most commonly known lawsuit in the medical field, you have probably heard of or know someone who has dealt with one of these lawsuits before. Most physicians or healthcare providers will deal with at least one of these suits at some point in time.
- Contract Disputes and Commercial Lawsuits: Not all lawsuits may be related to medicine at all and you will want to be protected from these as well. There are also ways in these types of disputes for your personal assets to be at risk if you are the owner of the provider or practice.
- Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Related Allegations: If you are registered with the DEA as many medical organizations must be, you could deal with serious litigation over any allegations of misconduct regarding prescription drugs. Protection do Doctors Need
- Federal Healthcare Fraud Allegations: Another very serious allegation you could deal with as a doctor is federal fraud allegations. There are numerous fraudulent activities that can take place in the medical field and therefore there are federal agencies that specifically focus on finding fraud within healthcare providers.
What Protections Are Available to You?
Because it is common for doctors and healthcare providers to need protections in their career there are many options that can help you protect your life, loved ones, and career. These are some of the protections available to you;
- Using Retirement Plans: Utilizing qualified or nonqualified retirement plans depending on what is available so you can protect your assets for the future. The downside of this is that you cannot access it now, but allocating a portion of your assets for the future can help give you peace of mind now and then. It is recommended that you speak to an attorney as nonqualified retirement plans follow state law and you will want to be sure that your assets are correctly protected under your plan.
- Forming an LLC or S—Corp: It’s a common misconception that you have to have your own practice to form an entity, but even if you are an employee you can sometimes create an LLC for protection. Either way, it would benefit you to look into forming an LLC or S—Corp for physicians to make sure you are protected not just from malpractice suits, but commercial lawsuits and misconduct allegations as well.
- Forming a Trust: There are multiple types of trusts available to individuals. These can be efficient ways to protect your assets because you effectively switch ownership from you to the trust, but you still have control over those assets according to the trust’s governing documents.
How Will You Protect Yourself and Your Family?
In conclusion, whether you are employed by a healthcare provider or are starting your own practice, it is important to consider all of the potential risks you could face in your career. You don’t have to let those situations ruin your life, your family, or your business however as long as you are prepared.
The first step to protecting yourself is determining the situations you could face and then deciding what protections will work best for you. In many cases, it is beneficial to talk to an expert in medical and corporate law to make sure you are protected to the fullest extent.