The importance of prompt claim reporting for GP surgeries


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There are many reasons why a GP practice manager or partner, or any other key decision maker, may choose to sit on an insurance claim rather than reporting it straightaway.

Work and time pressures are increasing for GPs throughout the UK[1] as recruitment and retention become ever more problematic. It could be there is confusion about whether a claim should be made at all. Or concerns about consent and disclosing information to insurers.

However, insurance policies often include conditions that require the policyholder to notify their broker or insurer of a claim in a timely manner. Problems arise when policyholders perhaps don’t realise this, or the task gets bumped in favour of ‘more pressing matters’. Sometimes there are multiple parties involved and, because of miscommunication over time, things slip between the cracks.

Prompt response

Whatever the reason, it’s important to seek advice as soon as possible to clear up any confusion, to go through the conditions carefully – and most importantly - to report claims as promptly as possible.

First and foremost, prompt reporting minimises the chance of a compromised outcome. It is critical to carefully document the events that led to the claim while memories are fresh, rather than having to return to it later when details could be blurry, or evidence harder to verify. This would place your chance of winning the claim in jeopardy and may even result in a denial of the claim.

Furthermore, the sooner a claim is received, the sooner it can be processed, managed and brought to a resolution.

Failure to make a prompt report has the potential to damage a practice’s reputation, too. When it comes to healthcare organisations, it is far better to demonstrate empathy and concern for service users by being seen to take their claims seriously and dealing with them in a timely fashion.

Getting everything in order

To make sure things run as smoothly as possible, it’s a good idea to check the following before sending off a claim:

  • You are within the time limits for making a claim.
  • You are covered for what you’re claiming for.
  • How much the excess is.
  • The small print. Make sure there’s nothing in the Ts&Cs that prevents you from claiming.

The chairperson of the Royal College of General Practitioners, Professor Kamila Hawthorne MBE, recently called the current GP shortages “really scary”,[2] adding that “as the foundation of the NHS, we are struggling”.

So it’s no surprise that GPs are intuitively prioritising caring for people over reporting a claim. But to minimise outlay and protect the sector as much as possible, it is vital to attend to these administrative tasks in a timely fashion.

At the same time, you have to understand the risks of not reporting a claim on time in order to protect your own practice, as well. Reporting claims promptly can help you save significant amounts of money, mitigate the chances of claim denial and ensure the preservation of crucial evidence that might otherwise be lost or forgotten about.

If in doubt as to whether you should report a claim, refer to the policy’s claims conditions or contact Howden directly at:

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 0117 205 1855