As our country continues to adjust, analyze and decide what is going to happen with the ‘situation’ of healthcare, one constant statistic comes through the numbers. We need to provide more qualified healthcare providers as soon as possible: no matter what the decision, no mater how we are going to provide care for the 32 Million who need healthcare, we have learned that there is a shortage of physicians. The use of allied healthcare providers will be part of the answer to providing care. The message to young and old college students is to consider nursing, medical assistant, lab tech, pathology assistant or physician assistant at some point during your education.
The number of employed PA’s in the United States is projected to increase by 39 percent by the year 2018, making this a great time to be a Physician Assistant. This increase is being driven by three major factors:
Growing population; a shortage of primary care physicians and efficiency improvements mandated by President Obama’s Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act.
Since employment opportunities for PA’s are greater than ever, and their healthcare role is expanding, so too, is their liability exposure. Physician assistants are finding opportunities as employees and independent contractors. Accordingly, they are also being named in an increasing number of medical malpractice lawsuits. Physician Assistants are often included in their employing physician’s liability policy, under a shared limit. This protection under their employer’s malpractice insurance, may solve the problem entirely. The law suit ‘flows up hill’ so to speak to the supervising physician.
However, there are some experts who believe that the Affordable Care Act will introduce an auditing of physician assistant’s loss experiences just as it has for physicians. PA’s can be held accountable for their own negligence, and in many instances, will be liable for part, or all, of a lawsuit settlement. The Doctors’ Insurance Agency can help you place your own individual limit in one day.
The Doctors Insurance Agency can help you obtain coverage under your employing physician’s policy and your own malpractice insurance policy. When PA’s carry their own medical malpractice insurance policy, they have the opportunity to become more involved in their own defense. If both the physician and the physician assistant are named in the suit, there can be a conflict of interest created by the representation of both by the same attorney. The attorney can always be expected to put the supervising physician’s interests foremost during both court proceedings and negotiations when there is a stand alone policy.
Another important benefit to a separate malpractice policy for the physician assistant is that the physician assistant and the physician are protected by their own limit of insurance. Limits are often shared across all insured parties in a claim when the PA shares limits with the M.D. The supervising physician bears more of the liability in most circumstances, so this is a solution that fits better when the Physician Assistant has their own independent contracting work.
Acquiring your own medical professional liability insurance policy, with separate limits of liability, helps ensure the adequacy of your coverage when you may most need it. Additionally, when you have your own policy, you do not have to worry about whether the hospital, surgery center, lab, or other medical facility has properly endorsed you on their policy. Your policy will be there informed of your work profile, representing you independently with experience and adequate funds. (to indemnify and defend the claim).
Purchasing your own individual malpractice insurance policy is the only way to be certain that you have adequate coverage. Our highly trained and experienced staff of medical professional liability insurance brokers will help you find the best coverage available, for the best rates, by making the top insurance companies compete for your business.