Is Tweeting Covered in Your Physician Liability Policy?
We’d love to be able to do this post in 140 characters or less, but…we can’t. Physician liability policies are much too complicated for that. Not as fun, we know.
We also know that social media is the wave of the future that’s already here. And, physicians are jumping on the bandwagon, like everyone else. But, physicians aren’t like Ashton Kutcher or the Queen of England. What they say can have an impact on patients and their health.
Today, specifically, we’d like to focus on physicians’ use of Twitter. But, unfortunately, not much has been written in terms of physician guidelines. The AMA has Opinion 9.124 entitled, “Professionalism in the Use of Social Media.” Read it, if you haven’t already. It’s a start.
From a physician liability insurance standpoint, sensing the importance of Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus, some insurance companies are, on occasion, starting to cover it under the “administrative” portion of a traditional physician liability policy. And, other insurance companies are forward-thinking enough to cover it under a separate endorsement added on to the policy at no additional charge. Call us today to find out who these physician liability companies are and to have us get you a quote today.
And, if you are a physician who owns his or her own practice, make sure that you know if your employees are Twittering. You may even want to think about establishing an office policy regarding the use of Twitter in your practice.
The good news is that we haven’t seen any physician liability cases yet pertaining to Twitter, but we feel that it’s only a matter of time until we do. Until we do, we say that the best offense is a good defense. If you decide to use Twitter, use it cautiously and conservatively. And, don’t be afraid to consult with a licensed attorney in your state.
Treat Twitter like an elevator: always respect patient privacy and don’t discuss identifiable details of patients or their cases. And, always keep in mind that you are essentially creating a permanent record of everything that you Tweet.