Functional medicine providers should never assume that they have coverage for the services they provide. Most providers obtain malpractice based on their specialty, (which is usually not functional medicine). Obtaining malpractice for “Family Medicine” or “Internal Medicine” provides coverage for the traditional services provided by those specialties but does not address functional medicine. Unless the provider obtains specific coverage for functional medicine, the provider runs the risk of their policy being rescinded in the event of a claim–which could leave the provider without coverage for claim defense and awarded damages.

Here are some tips for functional medicine providers regarding malpractice insurance:

  1. When applying for coverage, clearly indicate that functional medicine is practiced. List the services currently provide and the training relevant to those services.
  2. Once coverage is obtained, notify the insurance agent when services are added. (This applies to traditional providers who convert their practice to functional medicine or add functional medicine services.) List the services that are being added and the training relevant to those services.
  3. In both of the above cases, provide a definition of I&FM, such as the information contained on AIHM’s site about the Core Values of Integrative Medicine (CLICK HERE) and the Institute for Functional Medicine’s site “What is Functional Medicine?” (CLICK HERE). Providing information about I&FM helps to ensure coverage for services related to I&FM, (such as energy medicine).
  4. Retain the application. Retain all subsequent notices sent to the insurance agent. Each time a notice is sent, request written confirmation of coverage from the agent. Retain the written confirmation of coverage provided by the insurance agent.
  5. DO NOT implement I&FM or add I&FM services without written confirmation from your insurance agent that the insurance carrier has agreed to provide coverage.