Physician's Assistants Medical Malpractice Insurance

Are you a physician assistant (PA) working for, along side of, or partnering with M.D.’s or D.O.’s and in need of creative, portable malpractice solutions? As more and more allied health providers join ranks with primary care providers to fill the gap necessary to care the new insured under HCRA 2009 (in the process of implementing), The Doctors’ Insurance Agency is working to increase our knowledge and efficiency of insurance solutions in this niche.

You may be considering setting up as an independent contractor providing medical services as you’ve done under supervision of your Physician. For some business-minded physician assistants (PAs), independent contracting offers a versatile way to practice medicine. Physician assistants might actually make more money and have more time.

The American Academy of Physician Assistants advises “that it is very important that a physician assistant who becomes an independent contractor does so having fully researched the tax and legal implications”.

Regular Employees vs Independent Contractors

According to the IRS website, there are guidelines, some listed below (view the rest at the IRS website), meant to distinguish between regular employees and independent contractors:

  • Training. An employee may be trained to perform services in a particular manner. Independent contractors ordinarily use their own methods and receive no training from the purchasers of their services.
  • Hours. An employee usually has set hours of work established by an employer. An independent contractor generally can set his or her own work hours.
  • Payments. An employee is generally paid by the hour, week, or month. An independent contractor is usually paid by the job or on commission only.
  • Specific job. An independent contractor usually agrees to complete a specific job and is responsible for its satisfactory completion, or is legally obligated to make good for failure to complete it.

Generally, it is the consensus opinion that an employee / employer relationship is best between a physician and a physician assistant. Maintaining an independent contractor status, and could easily put the PA in violation of IRS regulations.

And, regardless of how you are structured, you will need to be named on a policy. There are two ways to insure as a Physician’s Assistant. Either you share the limits of your physician or you write a separate limit policy sharing the same policy number (and separate certificate) or, the last option is a ‘stand alone’ policy.

Physician's Assistant Professional Liability Insurance at Affordable Price

The Doctors’ Insurance Agency can assist you by providing you with the right professional liability insurance at affordable pricing. Having the right physician assistant professional liability insurance protection means that you are not left out, not left off and therefore, you will be protected in the event that you are named in a claim. The future looks to include more services required of physician assistants to narrow the gap between the physician providers and the increased patient load.

Recently, we had a Physician assistant apply for medical malpractice insurance ‘on’ the policy of a physician with whom the PA worked. The application request was to share the limits with the physician with whom he had always worked. The problem, and the reason that his was not the solution, was that the Physician Assistant also worked for another Orthopedic Clinic. In this clinic, the Physician Assistant was providing independent contractor services, workers compensation evaluations and quality assurance/peer review.

The fact that he was doing outside work, apart from the physician supervisor with whom he worked, prevented that shared limit solution.

At The Doctors’ Insurance Agency, we have to continue to ask how much do you know, and how many specialty carriers can you represent in order to provide the whole insurance solution.

For more information regarding medical malpractice insurance for physician assistants, contact us or fill out the form to receive customized physician's assistant professional liability insurance quote.

"I am a physician assistant that is covered under my cardiologists policy. I am so please with The Doctors' Insurance Agency. I love the helpful risk management tips."   

- Jennifer Case-Balesteri, P.A. from Salinas, CA