Why is medical malpractice insurance so important for plastic surgeons?

Plastic surgeons are one of the most frequently sued specialties among all physicians, even though it represents only a small percentage of the physician population. Managing unrealistic patient expectations, using exceptional communication skills, utilizing good informed consent and employing a courteous, efficient and caring office staff go a long way in helping plastic surgeons reduce the frequency and severity of plastic surgery claims. Unfortunately, there may always be unwanted or unforeseen outcomes, but having a genuine concern for your patients and excellent documentation of every action will go a long way in preventing and defending a potential plastic surgery claim.

Plastic surgeon’s offices today are offering more and more less-invasive procedures to their patients which don’t include surgery, such as injectibles, peels, laser resurfacing, etc. which have less risk, cost and recovery time yet can offer dramatic results. Many of these types of procedures can also be performed by ancillary personnel, thus freeing up the physicians time to perform surgery. Again, understanding patient desires and expectations go a long way in determining the right procedure for them.

Plastic Surgery Medical Malpractice Insurance provides coverage for claims brought by unhappy or dissatisfied patients.

Plastic surgeons need this protection more often than other specialties.

The number one most common claim for plastic surgeons insured through The Doctors Company is breast augmentation which is in direct correlation with the most commonly performed plastic surgery procedure. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 296,203 breast augmentations were performed in 2010. Frequency of plastic surgery claims has been on a steady decline with a 19.3% claims frequency in 2006 coming down to 12.1% in 2010 and slowly rising in 2011 to 13.3%. Average incurred losses for plastic surgery claims with The Doctors Company have risen from 2006 at $55,000 per claim to $80,000 per claim in 2011.

Being sued by a patient can be a frightening experience. If you have your plastic surgery medical malpractice insurance with The Doctors Company, they will be there with you every step of the way should you report a medical malpractice claim.

The Doctors Company’s recommendations to Ensure Defensibly of a plastic surgery medical malpractice claim for plastic surgeons include:

  • Do not add to, delete from, or otherwise alter a medical record.
  • Place the medical record in a safe place.
  • After making a report, keep copies of your correspondence in a safe place—not in the patient’s chart—for future consultation.
  • Always require the patient’s or the patient’s legal representative’s signature to release a copy of the medical record or any information within it.
  • Do not discuss the event with anyone other than your claim specialist or defense attorney.
  • Do not make contact with anyone associated with the case except your claims specialist or defense attorney.

The Doctors Company is the nation's largest insurer of physician and surgeon medical malpractice insurance with 73,000 members and $4 billion in assets, and is rated A by A.M. Best Company and Fitch Ratings. It provides plastic surgery professional liability insurance to more plastic surgeons than any other carrier. It was founded in 1976 in California, and now offers coverage in 50 states, including Washington, Oregon, Texas, Georgia, Ohio, Florida and Virginia. The Doctors Insurance Agency is one of the largest agents of The Doctors Company, servicing over 3500 clients in all specialties and states. Originally focused in Northern California (San Francisco, Marin County, Walnut Creek, etc.) we now service business nationwide as well.

The agents at The Doctors Insurance Agency ensure that physicians have confidence in their medical liability insurance for plastic surgery policies and understand how the coverage operates to protect them in the event of a lawsuit. The Doctors Insurance Agency provides you with plastic surgery medical malpractice insurance quotes, communicates directly with the insurance company throughout the application process, and makes sure the policy is issued.

For more information regarding medical malpractice insurance for plastic surgeons contact us or fill out the form to receive customized plastic surgery malpractice insurance quotes.

"As a board certified plastic surgeon for more than 25 years, I must say it is a pleasure to know I am backed up by a liability carrier of the absolute highest quality. I could not be happier with their policies and service."

- Stanley Poulos, MD from Greenbrae, CA