The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) projects the allied health care sector will grow a remarkable 19% from 2014 to 2024, adding about 2.3 million new jobs in all—more jobs than any other group of occupations. Is your agency positioned to serve this market?
The DOL credits this stellar growth to the country’s aging population, as well as to federal health insurance reforms that continue to increase the availability of health insurance. Another factor in the industry’s growth is the vast array of technological innovations in the sector, including new diagnostic and treatment tools, precision medicine, personalized at-home care, app-enabled patient portals, telehealth and remote patient monitoring.
The allied health care industry is composed of patient clinical testing (diagnostic) and treatment (therapeutic) patient care, and support services provided outside of a hospital or nursing home. It’s a dynamic and growing industry that represents opportunity for independent insurance agencies that currently do not serve the outpatient health care market.
Hospitals, nursing homes and allied health care organizations are all at risk of professional liability claims. These claims may be brought by patients suffering a bodily injury due to errors & omissions of the health care professional, or unanticipated adverse medical events that arise while delivering professional services. Most health care organizations are aware of their malpractice exposures and other liability risk, but they are not experts in health care insurance coverage—and would benefit from the insurance expertise of an independent agent.
More independent agencies should consider entering this market. Although the allied health care industry may appear complex and complicated for an independent agent not well versed in health care, “by starting small, enhancing knowledge and dedicating staff resources, today’s less complex health care entities can be a steppingstone to larger accounts—offering substantial premium commission income in future,” says Maureen Maughan, CNA assistant vice president and industry leader, Allied Healthcare.
Given the broad range of health care specialties within the allied health care market, an agent can focus on the insurance needs of a particular clinical specialty, such as imaging/radiology centers, medical laboratories, hospices, home health care or cancer treatment centers. “The regulatory environment for health care entities continues to evolve. As a result, agents who stay on top of industry developments and regulations can provide a valuable service to their customers,” Maughan says.
To encourage agents to enter the allied health care market, CNA—which serves more than 50 classes of allied health care facilities—is offering an additional 2% commission on top of customary rates.
“We understand that an agent’s time is precious,” says Alice Epstein, CNA Allied Healthcare Facilities risk control leader. “CNA truly believes the independent agent can come to understand the insurance nuances of this specialized market and successfully target smaller health care accounts. By embracing the smaller outpatient health care organizations, independent agent could be positioned in the future to serve a multistate or national health care account generating $1 million or more in premium."