COVID-19 FAQs

April 1, 2020 Sara Bergmanson

 

Will I receive coverage for business interruption?

  • TMLT policies do not cover business interruption due to epidemic outbreaks. This type of business interruption coverage is most frequently available as part of a general liability or property insurance policy. Check with your agent or insurance provider to see if this coverage is included in any of your other business policies.
  • Please contact your underwriter if you have any other coverage questions.

 

What resources do you have about HIPAA and the coronavirus?  

 

What if my group or I need to hire retired or inactive physicians, advanced practice professionals, or staff in response to the COVID-19 pandemic?

  • If this occurs, we ask those inactive, retired, or advanced practice professionals to (re)apply for coverage. We will review on a case-by-case basis. If a provider was previously issued free retirement tail coverage from TMLT, we will not consider this as a breach of the permanent retirement provision for free tail coverage.

 

Will I qualify for a leave of absence (LOA) discount if I choose to suspend my practice (due to personal health concerns, staff exposure concerns, etc.) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic?

  • Please contact TMLT to discuss whether your circumstances can be considered an LOA qualifying event. Part-time coverage may be an option.

 

What if my premium payment(s) are delayed due to COVID-19 developments?

  • TMLT will not cancel any policy due to challenges related to the COVID-19 emergency that prevent you from paying your premium on time. If your payment is delayed, please contact us as early as possible to discuss alternate payment options or schedules.
  • We remain available for you to submit payments via telephone by calling 800-580-8658.  Also, for your convenience, guest payments can be made online or by logging in to your myTMLT account

 

How do I contact your risk management department?

  • Our Risk Management team can be contacted through our online form or you can call 800-580- 8658 or 512-425-5800.

 

What risk management resources are available?

 

Will TMLT provide coverage if I am asked to temporarily provide care outside my current scope of practice in response to the COVID-19 pandemic?

  • We anticipate many policyholders may be asked to temporarily treat patients for medical conditions outside their routine practice. If this occurs, please follow medical board guidelines and have appropriate training in the procedures you perform. You may also contact TMLT to discuss the situation and determine coverage.

 

Will my policy provide coverage for a locum tenens physician who may substitute for me, in case I am unable to see patients due to exposure or health concerns related to COVID-19?

  • If you are unable to work, you can request locum tenens coverage under your TMLT policy. To request this coverage, please provide written notice before the scheduled absence, if possible. An application for the substituting provider may be required.

 

Will TMLT provide coverage for temporary telemedicine services due to the COVID-19 pandemic?

  • Yes. In response to the needs of physicians and adjustments made by various state medical boards, TMLT will expand telemedicine coverage.
  • The Texas Medical Board (TMB) has released temporary expansion guidelines on how providers can use telemedicine to treat patients during the pandemic. Changes include temporarily allowing the use of telephone-only encounters to establish a physician-patient relationship. Please review these guidelines in their COVID-19 Telemedicine FAQs, and visit their Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Response page for additional information. The Texas Medical Association offers additional information and resources on their Telemedicine in Texas page.
  • Per the HHS, during the COVID-19 national emergency, “covered health care providers subject to the HIPAA Rules may seek to communicate with patients, and provide telehealth services, through remote communications technologies. Some of these technologies, and the manner in which they are used by HIPAA covered health care providers, may not fully comply with the requirements of the HIPAA Rules.
  • The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) will exercise its enforcement discretion and will not impose penalties for noncompliance with the regulatory requirements under the HIPAA Rules against covered health care providers in connection with the good faith provision of telehealth during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency.”
  • However, there are limitations on the use of “public facing” platforms, such Facebook Live. See the bulletin for more information.
  • Physicians who typically do not provide telemedicine services may need to provide such services during this time. We ask that all physicians follow their state medical board guidelines, and the medical board guidelines for each state where care is given. In addition, we ask that physicians have appropriate training in the procedures they perform via telemedicine.
  • Your policy does not require any changes if:
  • - you follow the telemedicine guidelines of your state medical board; and
  • - your new and existing patients reside within the state in which coverage has already been agreed upon by TMLT. 
  • Contact us as soon as possible if you are considering practicing outside the state(s) for which your TMLT coverage currently applies.

 

What recommendations can you make about which procedures to postpone under the TMB emergency rules on elective procedures?

 

What is TMLT doing to respond to the crisis?

  • TMLT is offering extended business hours, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and will maintain these new hours until further notice.
  • After 8 p.m., callers with urgent issues can follow telephone prompts to report a claim, report a non-claim-related issue, or ask questions.
  • Visit our Contact page to reach the specific department you need. Or call customer service at 800-580-8658 or 512-425-5800. You can also fax customer service at 512-328-5637.
  • Our team members began working remotely on March 18.  It is our commitment to maintain business as usual during this crisis and remain available to help you.

 

Will my policy cover me for volunteer work in response to the COVID-19 pandemic?

  • Yes. If policyholders are asked to volunteer medical services, coverage will be provided. Good Samaritan coverage may also be available in certain situations.

 

I’m a retired physician and want to volunteer my services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Can I get malpractice insurance through TMLT?

  • Yes. TMLT now offers medical professional liability coverage at no cost to retired Texas physicians who resume practicing medicine on a volunteer basis during the COVID-19 public health emergency. To learn more and access an application, see our separate FAQ on this coverage.
Previous Article
2019 TMLT Annual Report

2019 TMLT Annual Report

Next Article
Post event survey