Functional Medicine Malpractice Insurance

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Understanding Functional Medicine malpractice insurance and this sub-specialty.

Functional medicine, more a general approach to clinical medical care than a traditional medical specialty, is a young field based on the application of basic science to medicine. Functional medicine focuses on the underlying causes and prevention of disease in general, rather than on treating the symptoms of specific diseases. Proponents of functional medicine view the body as one integrated system, attempting to analyze how each component of the body interacts with the environment.

The Institute for Functional Medicine is the primary organized body in the field. In its definition of functional medicine, the Institute lists core imbalances that can occur in the integrated system of the body. These include hormone and neurotransmitter imbalances, oxidation-reduction imbalances, immune imbalances and inflammatory imbalances. The key tool for treating these imbalances is the “patient story,” which clinicians can use to integrate diagnosis, signs and symptoms as well as evidence of imbalances, and then to provide treatment in order to correct the imbalances.

Recently, some medical schools have taken a greater interest in teaching some aspects of functional medicine as well as other forms of alternative medicine. With more than 40 percent of Americans using some form of nontraditional medicine, medical schools including the University of California – San Francisco and the Loma Linda University School of Medicine have added electives in areas such as functional medicine. In 2006, the Institute for Functional Medicine became accredited to offer CME credit to physicians.

It’s our opinion at Cunningham Group that there seems to be fewer claims filed against functional medicine doctors in all 50 states because they take such a different approach to practicing medicine. The stronger relationships they tend to have with their patients inadvertently avoid those situations that can lead to claims. We have started gathering more data to see if these assumptions are correct or not. We hope to have this researched published within the next 12-24 months.

How much does functional medicine malpractice insurance cost?

The Institute for Functional Medicine can also offer AMA PRA Category 1 credit.  Malpractice insurers do not typically recognize functional medicine as a unique specialty, so most practitioners of functional medicine would be classified as internists or primary care physicians. This means that functional medicine malpractice insurance rates will be relatively low, when compared to the higher rates paid by specialists like surgeons and obstetricians. Premiums vary widely among individuals based on factors like geographic location, hours worked per week, patients seen per week, previous claims history, specific procedures and treatments performed as well as other details of the practice. Medical malpractice insurance premiums are significantly higher in states where the legal climate is hostile and tort reform measures are not in place, such as the State of New York and The Sunshine State. Some studies suggest that physicians practicing functional medicine or other forms of nontraditional medicine may be less likely to be sued for malpractice. As further research becomes available, insurance companies may reevaluate the rates they charge to physicians in functional medicine.

Dig deeper into how much medical malpractice insurance costs.

Why functional medicine physicians choose Cunningham Group.

Functional medicine physicians choose Cunningham Group because we are one of the few medical malpractice insurance agencies that take the time to understanding of your specific employment situation and that understand how you approach patient care. We will work with the major insurance carriers in your state to find you a policy that meets your specific needs. And, by shopping you to all of the major carriers, we can also make certain you pay the lowest cost for your professional liability coverage needs.

During the insurance application process, be sure to ask your med-mal insurance agent about any discounts you may be eligible for. Are you “new to practice?” Are you working less than full-time? Are you interested in taking online risk management courses offered by the insurance company to lower your rates? Cunningham Group has helped thousands of functional medicine physicians maximize their savings.

Does it cost you extra to work with a malpractice insurance agent or broker?

Our service costs you nothing. In the medical malpractice insurance industry, agent commissions are already built into your premium. You pay the same amount for coverage whether you use an agent or purchase directly from the insurance company. Let us be your advocate. Request your free medical malpractice insurance quote now.

The Ultimate Medical Malpractice Insurance Guide.

We’ve created the ultimate medical malpractice insurance guide for doctors that can answer almost any question you may have — either before you buy or while you have an active policy. This guide applies to all healthcare professionals in every state.