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Health Department Faces Liability Coverage Gap

WGIL Newsroom . Local News 277

A liability gap for the Knox County Health Department’s Federally Qualified Health Center may create some coverage problems.

The Knox County Board of Health discussed how to best bridge a coverage gap last night after receiving liability coverage under the Federal Tort Claims Act.

Prior to receiving FTCA coverage, the Health Department relied on professional liability insurance paid out of grant funds.

Because there is a gap between the FTCA and current liability coverage, the Health Department decided to re-sign for additional liability coverage.

Knox County Health Department Administrator Heidi Britton says being deemed with tort coverage doesn’t overlap very well.

“We’ll start looking at this and seeing what of the 15-thousand we can bring down,” says Britton. “That’s an exorbitant amount, and the whole reason FQHC’s get the FTCA is so that you don’t have to pay this exorbitant amount of money. Your money that you get from the grant should be going toward patient care and not insurance.”

Work on the FQHC is still ongoing with a grant application to help fund their efforts being kicked back over the last month.

The grant was returned to the Health Department after they wrote the grant to reflect the number of patients they thought they could treat.

Now, the application must say the FQHC treats no fewer patients than the Health Department did previously – which is somewhere in the 6,500 patient range.

The numbers, however, will balance as the Health Department gathers more data from the FQHC’s activities