Physicians, who are generally known for highest professional integrity, often have to live with the tag of ‘malpractice’ despite clinical errors being unintentional. While patients’ have every right to get indemnified for the grievance, physicians’ sole choice of protection against monetary liability – which may vary from few thousand to many thousand dollars depending on the severity of the clinical error – happens to be 'malpractice liability’. Thus, whether you like or not, malpractice insurance is now more a necessity than an option. Moreover, malpractice insurance often needs to chosen carefully depending on the context in which physicians find themselves in – physicians employed in a hospital may need to be insured differently from those who may be operating their clinics. Because of these inherent priorities, physicians have to aware and knowledgeable of the malpractice insurance that best safeguards them against any eventuality.
It may be remembered that professional liability insurance can be availed as either ‘occurrence’ or ‘claims-made’ policy. While most of the policies offered by the insurers are claims-made, you can still avail opt for occurrence policies, which are relatively costlier than claims-made policies.
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In claims-made insurance, carrier is obligated to provide coverage only for the incidents that occur and get reported during the time of your insurance being active. Therefore, it is necessary that both the incident and the filing of the claim happen while the policy is in effect.
Suppose you discontinue with a claims-made policy, and get sued for a malpractice during the time when your claims-made was still in force, you will not be covered against any such suit unless you have kept alive your original claim-made policy with ‘tail coverage’, the term used for extended reporting endorsement. Despite tail coverage being expensive – as far as three times the value of an annual premium – it is often recommended to be active with tail coverage for any claims that could be reported years after they first happened. Tail coverage is also beneficial to physicians who change over to private practice from hospital employment where employer may have been covering them with claims-made policies alone.
On the other hand, occurrence policies are more protective in nature, offering lifetime coverage for the incidents the incidents gets reported long after the expiry of policies. Suppose, you are sued in 2013 for a malpractice that took five years earlier when you were covered under an occurrence policy, you still are entitled to be covered under the your erstwhile occurrence policy even though it has expired. But a major drawback with occurrence insurance is that they are apparently too costly to be borne by smaller physicians.
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While physicians may possible chose among the forms of malpractice insurance, malpractice liability is something that is quite inescapable. The alarming increase professional liability claims does quite vindicate the significance of having some form of malpractice insurance. While it may not restore the possible loss of credibility of goodwill of your clinical practices, it could surely prevent you from drowning financially. Therefore, your choice and quantum of malpractice insurance should necessarily be tailored to your practice specialty, practice location, ability to offer collateral security, and more importantly according to state legal requirements under which you are operating.
However, you may find it hard to reconcile these multiple considerations, and possible be better off with some external advice availing malpractice insurance. Medicalbillersandcoders.com, which holds the distinction of being a premier platform for sourcing medical billing solutions, is equally adept at suggesting and securing ‘malpractice insurance’ for physicians either employed in a hospital setting or practicing independently. Our broad base of experts, knowledgeable with various malpractice insurance policies and state-specific rules can be relied upon for implementing the insurance policies that best suit your need and capability.