Medical Malpractice Insurance: The Basics

The best thing to do when it comes to medical malpractice insurance is to conduct thorough research. Every question has an answer with a little help and digging. To start your journey into the insurance world, here is medical malpractice insurance: the basics.

What Is Medical Malpractice Insurance?

Medical malpractice insurance for healthcare professionals is a type of insurance that covers medical professionals and their practices from claims of malpractice or negligence. It is no secret that practicing medicine involves artful interpretation and application. In most cases, medical professionals have extensive training and are capable of collecting information, making diagnoses, crafting treatments, writing prescriptions, and generally practicing medicine. But there are many places in the medical process where something can go wrong. Patients are able to file a claim of malpractice or negligence against their care providers under a variety of circumstances, and this is where malpractice insurance comes in.

Who Does It Benefit?

Malpractice insurance protects and supports medical professionals, safeguarding their careers. In their day-to-day lives, doctors and nurses have copious amounts of work to complete—practicing medicine is no small ordeal. That is why malpractice insurance can come in handy when a claim arises. If you are under a policy, and the situation meets the terms of that policy, you will receive coverage for indemnity payments, court costs, and damages associated with a lawsuit. By having the financial side of the equation taken care of, you can focus on the other problems at hand.

Why Would I Need It?

You may be a part of a larger practice or hospital that offers malpractice insurance. However, you need to be careful and read the fine print about these policies. Many of them will not cover you in certain circumstances, leaving you with large payments and no support. That is why securing your own malpractice insurance can save you from the headaches of pecuniary burdens. If you have questions about what kind of policy you need, reach out to one of our insurance professionals here at Baxter & Associates.

Also, consider talking with a trusted friend or fellow medical professional—they may be able to offer personal insights into malpractice insurance. When it comes to malpractice insurance, the simple answer is this: you have nothing to gain and everything to lose by not covering your risk. Furthermore, the majority of insurance agencies have insurance agent errors and omissions insurance, which protects them from further fallout. By having this double-backed system of insurance, you will be more than ready to handle whatever comes your way.

Types of Malpractice Insurance

Medical malpractice insurance typically consists of two main categories: occurrence and claims-made policies. Both policy types provide coverage for many kinds of medical professionals but with different perspectives. Occurrence policies will cover you if a patient makes a claim about an alleged incident of malpractice, regardless of the filing date of the claim. The great part about occurrence policies is that you will receive coverage for claims made against you even after your policy has expired. For example, if a patient files a claim in June of 2020 for an incident that took place in March, but your policy expired in May of 2020, you will still receive coverage. Because the incident in question happened while you were paying for the policy, the insurance will still be in effect.

Conversely, claims-made malpractice insurance will cover you only if the incident and the claim happen while under the policy. If we look at the above example, the incident took place while under the policy, but the claim’s filing date was afterward. Under claims-made malpractice insurance, because one of those actions occurred while you weren’t paying for the policy, you will not receive coverage.

Another part of medical malpractice insurance is tail or nose insurance. These are policy add-ons that provide coverage while you are in transition. If you are moving jobs, changing insurers, or taking a leave of absence, you may need to update your policy to ensure continual coverage. On the one hand, tail coverage is added onto the end of your current policy—hence the name “tail.” On the other hand, nose coverage is attached to the beginning of your new policy. In both cases, you are simply covering all your bases so that there are no gaps in your protection.

What Happens When I Need It?

As a medical professional, you focus on healing people and ameliorating their pain. However, there are times when a claim comes against you, and you need help. If a claim comes to you, this means the patient and their lawyer have already met and drafted this document. The first thing you should do is to contact your insurance provider. They will know the details of your policy in more detail than anyone else. Even if they are not able to take any action at that point, alerting them to the situation and maintaining a clear line of communication is important. Your insurer should also be able to recommend your next steps, which will likely include consulting with a lawyer and making contact with all parties involved.

Where Do I Find the Coverage I Need?

If you are looking for medical malpractice insurance, the best thing to do is to contact an insurance agent directly. They will be able to direct you to the type of policy that best fits your medical role and financial capacity. Before you interact with an insurance professional, have a few things prepared. Set a budget, and know roughly what amount you can pay for insurance. Do research ahead of time to understand what the standard payment amount is for your role and location. Because insurance requirements and costs differ by state, seeing where you fit into the grand scheme of things is necessary. Also, ask the insurance agent about their agency’s experience supporting clients when claims arise. Inquiring about their track record will help you get a better picture of what happens and if they are competent to handle your insurance. If you have any questions about medical malpractice insurance, contact us at Baxter & Associates to find a policy that works for you.

Learning the basics of medical malpractice insurance can prepare you for a long and successful career in medicine. Get the right coverage and protect yourself from unnecessary harm so that you can offer consistently high-quality care without extra burdens.

How CRNA Malpractice Insurance Works

When you look for medical malpractice insurance, you need to be aware of how your policies operate and what to do in the event of a claim. Here is how CRNA malpractice insurance works.

What Is CRNA Malpractice Insurance?

CRNA malpractice insurance is a type of coverage tailored to Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists. Medical malpractice insurance consists of two basic categories: occurrence and claims-made policies. With occurrence malpractice insurance, you have coverage for any claims of negligence or malpractice incidents during the time of the policy. Regardless of when the claim is made—even after your policy is expired—if the incident happened while you were paying for the policy, you are covered.

With claims-made malpractice insurance, you have coverage only when the incident in question and the claim occur within the time of the policy. So, if both the incident and the claim do not happen while under the policy, you will not receive coverage.

What Happens When I Need It?

When a patient or client makes a claim against you by alleging medical negligence or malpractice, you need to get in contact with your insurance provider immediately. They will have the most accurate information regarding your plan and options. However, the general procedure involves filing a claim, communication between all parties—including the CRNA, patient, insurance companies, and lawyers—and resolution. The resolution of a claim can take the form of a settlement, a full-fledged lawsuit, or even a simple ending where the case is dropped.

How Do I Find a Policy?

Before any claims occur or you find yourself in a difficult situation, find a policy that works for you. Insurance is all about managing your personal and professional risk. CRNAs interact with patients frequently and offer important medical care, so your insurer should be ready to handle the issues that come up in these encounters. If you have any questions or need CRNA malpractice insurance, contact an insurance professional on our team here at Baxter and Associates today.

Understanding how CRNA malpractice insurance works can save you time and money when beginning a new policy. Find the best option for your situation so you can enjoy a long and prosperous career helping others.

Do Nurse Practitioners Need Medical Malpractice Insurance?

Those who work in medicine are familiar with the innermost workings of the human body. However, they also need to be familiar with the other aspects of practicing medicine, such as insurance. Though dozens of medical professionals interact with patients, the question remains: Do nurse practitioners need medical malpractice insurance?

The Simple Answer—Yes

Malpractice insurance for nurse practitioners is a necessity. Nurse practitioners provide a substantial amount of patient care and have extensive interaction with those in their care. Because of this contact, there are ample opportunities for something to potentially go wrong or about which a patient may file a claim. As with all insurance, the most important thing to consider is the amount of risk involved in a situation and whether you want to do anything about it. As an NP, you face a significant risk that a patient may make a claim against you, and you must decide for yourself if you will take on this risk.

Why Do Nurse Practitioners Need To Be Covered?

Nurse practitioners need to be covered by a personal malpractice policy because the insurance policies of their employers may not also cover them. Though certain employers have inclusive insurance, many NPs do not realize the limitations of their employer’s coverage when it comes to their position. And it goes without saying that being stuck with a claim without insurance can cost a nurse practitioner significant amounts of money, time, and even their professional reputation.

What Kinds of Policies Exist?

When it comes to medical malpractice insurance, there are two main types: occurrence and claims-made policies. Occurrence policies provide coverage when the date of the incident in question falls within the time of the policy. So if you recently stopped paying for your policy but receive a claim for something that happened when your policy was in effect, you would be covered. With claims-made policies, you are covered when the date of the incident and the date of the claim both fall within the time of the policy. So you must be paying for your policy when the incident in question occurred and when the claim is made against you. Nurse practitioners, as with all medical professionals, must decide which policy they feel works best for them.

To ask the question again, do nurse practitioners need medical malpractice insurance? Yes. There is always the possibility of a claim being made against a medical professional, and NPs are not excluded. If you are looking for a malpractice insurance plan for nurse practitioners, contact one of our insurance professionals here at Baxter and Associates LLC for more information about our programs.

How Physician Assistant Malpractice Insurance Works

The world of insurance can be nebulous and frustrating, especially when you need simplified information fast. As a medical professional, you’ll find particularities in insurance policies that you need to grasp when setting up a contract. Here is a quick guide on how physician assistant malpractice insurance works.

What Is a Physician Assistant?

A physician assistant, also known as a PA, is a medical professional who works closely with a physician or doctor. Under the direction or supervision of a physician, a physician assistant provides and often orchestrates patient care. Though they do not share the full scope of responsibilities that a physician does, they are highly trained and deeply involved in the medical treatment process.

In the United States, the scope of a physician assistant’s practice varies by state. However, it is often the case that PAs are able to work quite independently. Their part in the treatment process includes collecting patient medical histories, performing certain physical exams, ordering and interpreting tests, diagnosing injuries and illnesses, and prescribing medications. Many PAs have their own independent practices, though this does depend on where a physician assistant practices medicine. Altogether, physician assistants are a critical part of the medical field and interact directly with patients. Because of this, they need to be covered by the right insurance.

Why Do PAs Need To Be Insured?

Physician assistants, like other medical professionals, work to provide patients with proper care and treatment. PAs have significant interactions with their patients each day, amounting to hundreds of patients over thousands of hours. Each one of these encounters is subject to be retroactively examined upon the filing of a claim. This is why physician assistant medical malpractice insurance is so critical—it provides coverage for any claims made against a PA that calls a particular incident into question.

Though the majority of physician assistants—and all other types of medical workers, for that matter—work tirelessly to provide quality care, there are times when something goes wrong. It is best to have the coverage you need when these scenarios arise. If you receive a claim and do not have insurance, you could be looking at immense amounts of money and paperwork to handle it on your own.

What Kinds of Policies Exist?

The amount of coverage you want will determine the type of policy you choose. Understanding the different kinds of medical malpractice insurance can be complicated, but it ultimately boils down to the timing of the claim and the policy. The three main types you need to know about are occurrence, claims-made, and tail or nose coverage.

Occurrence malpractice policies insure you as a medical professional against incidents that happen during your policy coverage. Regardless of when the claim itself is made, if the incident in question occurred while you were paying for and under the coverage of your policy, you are insured. For example, an incident occurs in October of 2019, and you were paying for an occurrence policy at that time. However, your policy ends at the conclusion of 2019, and a claim is made in February of 2020 regarding that incident. You are not currently paying for that insurance coverage, but because the incident happened while you were covered, the policy holds. The logic behind this insurance type hinges on the reality that claims often take time to process, and months can pass between something happening and a claim being made concerning it.

Claims-made malpractice policies are nearly the opposite of occurrence coverage. Claims-made insurance covers you only if the incident and the claim happen within the duration of the policy. Unlike an occurrence policy, the timing of the claim itself matters. Take the previous example. Though you paid for your policy at the time of the incident, you were no longer under the policy when the claim was made. Therefore, with a claims-made policy, you would not be covered for that claim. Despite many medical professionals preferring occurrence policies, claims-made coverage is often cheaper and more widely available. It is also required for practicing medicine in several states.

Tail coverage and nose coverage refer to the malpractice insurance you need when between employers, changing insurers, or taking a leave of absence. Though it is not a long-term policy like the primary insurance options of occurrence and claims-made, this malpractice insurance type is important to understand. When in any of these transition scenarios, you are technically without formal coverage. Depending on the policy you have, this could be a precarious situation if a claim is made during that time. Tail or nose coverage is an addition you can make to your current or upcoming policy that protects you when in the interim. Tail coverage can be added on to the end of your current policy to supplement your protection. Conversely, nose coverage (also known as retroactive coverage or prior acts coverage) can be chosen from your new insurance carrier to ensure claims that happen prior to the official start date of your new policy do not go uncovered. Typically, nose coverage is less expensive than tail coverage, but you may need to take advantage of one or the other at some point in your career.

How Do I Choose?

Your insurance policy reflects the amount of risk you are willing to take on both personally and professionally. This matters because, depending on how much you regularly pay to your insurer, you may be held accountable for more or less down the road. The first things to check into are state and federal regulations or requirements. Because physician assistants’ scope of practice varies from state to state, you may be responsible to have a certain policy type or coverage limit. Also, ask other local PAs and see what options they have chosen. You may be able to receive some sound advice from medical professionals who have gone through the selection process. For the most accurate and up-to-date insurance information, reach out to an insurance professional like the ones on our team here at Baxter and Associates LLC.

This guide on how physician assistant malpractice insurance works provides you with the basics you need to set up a policy. If you want more information or are looking to purchase a physician assistant malpractice policy, contact one of our insurance professionals at Baxter and Associates LLC today!

How Physician Assistant Malpractice Insurance Works