Even the most careful aesthetic practitioners sometimes make mistakes, and in today’s litigious compensation culture dissatisfied patients are increasingly likely to make a complaint against you, sometimes seemingly with little justification.
At Hamilton Fraser Cosmetic Insurance we are seeing increasing numbers of claims for compensation being made against clinics and aesthetic practitioners who perform non-invasive procedures. If, despite following all the best practice guidelines, you find yourself facing legal action, it is important to make sure you do all you can to avoid delaying the claim so that you can get back on track as quickly as possible. We have compiled a list of top tips to speed up a claim:
Top tips to speed up a claim
- Contact your insurance company as soon as possible if you find yourself in any of the following situations:
- The patient expresses dissatisfaction with a treatment directly after the procedure
- A treatment has been administered incorrectly or an injury has occurred to the patient
- You receive any written or verbal dissatisfaction from a patient or their representatives following a treatment (this may happen up to three years after the treatment)
- Do not admit liability or disclose any details about your insurance policy
- Do not respond to a patient or their representatives until you have spoken to your insurance company
- Sometimes insurance claims take longer than necessary to settle for simple reasons like a lack of documentation required to process the claim. To speed up a claim, check that you have provided all information requested by your insurance company and, when you send evidence, retain a copy of your own.
- Ensure that you retain clear patient records with before and after photographs (these should be kept securely for a minimum of 10 years). If a complaint has been made against you, never destroy or alter your records in an attempt to speed up a claim
- Ensure that you have completed a thorough and detailed patient consent form including full patient history and whether there are any contraindications for the treatment
- Manage the patient’s expectations throughout the consultation process and treatment by ensuring they fully understand the results. If you can show that you consulted with your patient it will help to speed up a claim in the event that they make a complaint against you
- Provide written aftercare information following a treatment
- Ensure your insurance policy cover is adequate – carry out regular reviews of your insurance policy to make sure that all practitioners and treatments are noted on the policy, and that all the individual products used are listed. Failure to do this may result in the insurers not being able to deal with a claim if the product, practitioner or treatment is not listed on your policy.
Remember your insurance company is there to help.
At Hamilton Fraser Cosmetic Insurance we are always happy to guide our customers through difficult circumstances and aim to help prevent customer dissatisfaction developing into a formal claim and to speed up a claim if required.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to mitigate the risk of a potential claim happening in the first place. Follow the steps below to minimise the risk of a claim being made against you.
How to avoid a potential claim
- Keep detailed patient notes
- Keep records for a minimum of 10 years including before and after photos
- Assess your clients carefully before accepting them
- Obtain a full medical history from the patient
- Ensure that you undergo a thorough consenting procedure with the patient
- Follow product guidelines
- Make sure you record the settings used on any equipment
- Encourage the patient to follow guidance and manage their expectations
- Provide the patient with relevant literature
- Learn from your mistakes and ensure that all staff are adequately trained in handling customer complaints
For more detail on avoiding a claim you can download our factsheet ‘Our top tips on how to avoid a potential claim’ here.