Q & A with PRMS Insurance Services Team

An insurance policy with PRMS provides our clients with peace of mind. And this June 28th, in honor of National Insurance Awareness Day, we asked the PRMS Insurance Services team to share a few of the most common questions they receive from clients – and just what’s so great about a PRMS insurance policy.

What has been the most common question received by Insurance Services in light of the current pandemic?

Over the last few years and, especially now during COVID-19, we are consistently asked if our policy covers telepsychiatry. The answer is, “yes!” – in accordance with the terms and conditions of our policy. If you are currently a client with PRMS, and are thinking about practicing telepsychiatry contact clientservices@prms.com to update your records with us.

But, we’re more than our coverage and, now more than ever, we’re providing our services as support during the pandemic. Our Risk Management department has monitored licensure changes and updates for all 50 states and the District of Columbia, updated resources regularly, provided answers to frequently asked questions, and shared all the above via updated alerts on the topic weekly – not only with PRMS clients, but also the greater psychiatric community. Insurance is more than coverage when you need us; it’s also day to day practice protection.

  • Victoria Watkins, RPLU, Assistant Director of Underwriting

What should a psychiatrist look for in a medical professional liability policy?  

There are several features we at PRMS believe make a strong and more appealing option. First, being a psychiatric-specific program is important – which means an unparalleled level of expertise from underwriters, risk managers, and the claims team. Second, insuring telepsychiatry – which has been paramount this year facing the pandemic. Third, the additional perks, such as our license defense coverage up to $150,000 at no additional cost. Fourth, strength in carrier – our carrier, Fair American Insurance and Reinsurance Company, is highly rated by AM Best and Standard & Poor’s, and is financially strong. You want to make sure that your insurance company not only can defend you, but pay claims years later, if necessary.

Beyond the actual coverage needs, it’s also important that your policy provides you with support not only during a malpractice suit, but also with other services like responding to subpoenas or potential claims. All of this, as well as risk management guidance, helps mitigate your risk.

  • Rich Stagnato, Account Manager

I’m a forensic psychiatrist – do I need insurance?

Yes.  Simply providing opinions to courts, for example, is low risk but that does not mean there is no risk.

A few years ago, we had a forensic psychiatrist come to us with thoughts of cancelling their policy. Our client luckily made the decision not to cancel the policy and the following day, after having doubt, the doctor received a subpoena to appear in court.

  • Chris Torre, Senior Account Advisor

Occurrence policy and claims made policy – what do they mean, and why is it important to me?

Generally, a claims-made policy protects you when you are named in a practice-related legal proceeding (e.g. lawsuit) if both the legal proceeding is “made” against you and the psychiatric service was provided during the policy period. The limits of liability in effect at the time the legal proceeding is filed will apply. Should you cancel your policy, generally with this type of coverage, you should consider additional coverage to extend the reporting period – commonly called tail coverage. Premium for tail coverage may be waived in cases such as retirement, longevity with the program, death, or permanent disability. However, when switching from another company’s claims made policy to PRMS, you may not need to buy its tail coverage. Click here to see how and when tail coverage may not be necessary with PRMS.

An occurrence policy protects you in a practice-related legal proceeding as long as the policy was active at the time the treatment or incident occurred, regardless of when the legal proceeding is filed. The limits of liability in effect at the time of the “occurrence” will apply. Should you cancel your policy, you do not need to buy tail coverage with the occurrence policy.

PRMS offers both types of policies and can recommend the best option for your practice. Most other insurance companies only offer claims-made policies, but you may be able to switch your retroactive date to PRMS without buying the other company’s tail coverage.

  • Michelle Robinson, Senior Account Advisor

Do I need insurance if I’m a resident and considering moonlighting?

One of the great things about a PRMS policy is that we’re here throughout the various stages of a psychiatrist’s career. For a resident or fellow, we can cover moonlighting activities outside the training program when the employer does not provide coverage – and, in many states, we offer up to 80% in discounts for moonlighting. And, because we offer policies in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, there’s no need to switch carriers throughout a doctor’s career after residency if you move or see patients in multiple states. If you’re considering starting a private practice or changing insurance at any point during your career, we can advise you on the appropriate policy and time frame for applying for a policy with PRMS.

Our risk management team also provides extensive resources to help you throughout your career from starting a private practice to closing your practice upon retirement – we have you covered!

  • Renee Lewis, Insurance Services Administrator

Does PRMS offer discounts?

Yes, we offer a range of discounts such as having a membership in a psychiatric association to part-time discounts depending on how many hours you may be working per week. Our discounts include:

  • Nikki Travis, Senior Account Manager 

I have two other psychiatrists in my private practice, but we’re all covered by different insurers. Is there a convenient way to insure them?

We make it easy. PRMS offers group policies! In addition to psychiatrists, behavioral healthcare providers such as nurse practitioners, psychologists, social workers, therapists, and others can be covered as a group under one medical professional liability insurance policy. The benefits of an individual policy are available to the practice and providers insured with it.

  • Remy Palmer, RPLU, ARM, Senior Account Manager

What makes PRMS a strong partner?

We ‘get’ psychiatrists.  For over 30 years, the behavioral health care community has been the foundation of our company. We continue to carry out our mission of service to our doctors and their causes by supporting a number of charitable mental health organizations as well as partnering with more than 40 psychiatric organizations nationwide. We believe in supporting state, regional, and national psychiatric organizations, as well as foundations.

We’ve also managed more than 29,000 psychiatric claims, lawsuits and events since 1986 – more than any other company in the country. We are proud of our hands-on, personalized service providing expertise, guidance and support for psychiatrists during what is often a difficult and stressful time.

  • Jacqueline Palumbo, CPC, ELI-MP, Director, Underwriting and Insurance Services

I’m already insured with PRMS. But I know colleagues that want to learn more. How can I get them in touch?

Refer them to PRMS! To further our efforts of supporting our clients and the behavioral healthcare community at large, PRMS will make a donation to a mental health organization of the referrer’s choice for each referral received, regardless of whether a policy is purchased. It’s our way of thanking our loyal clients and supporting the mental health causes important to them.

  • Megan Jones, MBA, ARM, Assistant Director of Insurance Services

What can I expect when I apply for PRMS insurance?

We work with you every step of the way to ensure your transition to PRMS is fast and efficient. You can request a quote online or by emailing ClientServices@prms.com. We will find out more information about your practice and policy needs so that we can provide you with a customized quote.

Based on your practice location, you may be eligible to use our online Self-Guided Application (SGA). Our secure online application will guide you step-by-step through the application process, provide you with helpful hints, allow you to upload any pertinent documentation, and permit you to sign up online to ensure an efficient process. After your application has been reviewed and approved, you will be sent an invoice to activate your coverage. We have several payment options including online payment via check or credit card. We also have financing available and will be happy to discuss your options.

Once you have paid for your policy, you will have online access to our client-specific MyProgram portal and all of the risk management resources, CMEs, policy documents, and more information, right at your fingertips!

  • Rich Stagnato, Account Manager

If you have any questions or are interested in receiving a quote, contact us at (800) 245-3333 or TheProgram@prms.com.

Authored by PRMS.

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