Hospitalist Liability Insurance

January 26, 2021

Hospital Medicine is a medical specialty that exists in some countries as a branch of internal or family medicine. It's focused on dealing with the care of acutely ill hospitalized patients. Physicians whose primary professional focus is caring for hospitalized patients only while they are in the hospital are called hospitalists.

Hospitalist groups can also provide service in surgical specialties and in maternity wards.

The Doctors Insurance Agency provides Hospital Medical Professional Liability Insurancefor all specialty types of hospitalist medicine.

It is rare to receive a request for a solo hospitalist medicine policy. Those policies are written in a similar specialty per-physician model. This means that it's priced based on the doctor's residency specialty, and the premium is developed by considering the number of previous years of insurance as well as the territory. More common is the rating of hospitalists as a group. By definition, hospitalists have a commitment and responsibility to staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This makes the per-physician model expensive and arguably unmanageable.

The hospitalist group policies allow for easy onboarding and off boarding without the difficulty of triggering tail on the front end. These policies can provide retroactive coverage, which allows physicians to join without the encumbrance of having to purchase tail coverage from their present policy, enabling easier recruitment of physicians. Working with The Doctors Company is truly a national solution, offering interstate recruitment and insurability. We've recently added an OB hospitalist group to our client list the conventional clinical OB practice is now signing contracts to provide OB hospitalist support.

This requires a different rating, different premium and different structure. This rating structure is the unique innovation of companies like The Doctors Company that understand Rating.

A policy that uses visit rating will develop its premium on a pure risk calculus. This avoids unnecessary premium dollars attaching to every doctor that joins the group. It is more efficient to have a premium that is purely developed by the number of visits. On a more detailed level, the premium is further broken down by primary care, specialty care, and surgical care. The number of visits essentially is the numerator, while the specialty, territory and average work week metric is the denominator. This is used to develop a full time equivalency rating. Additionally, The

Doctors Insurance Agency and The Doctors Company have worked together to apply group and hospital risk management discounts to further reduce premiums.

Hospitalist groups improve the quality of care. There was a time when Medical Professional Liability Insurers did not feel comfortable providing policies to cover a hospitalist. A physician spending their entire shift in the hospital seemed like a bad idea. In fact, a team of doctors working together to provide 24 hour presence admitting, treating, observing and discharging patients ran counter to the concept of the physician patient relationship, and the strength of the physician patient relationship is what avoids medical malpractice claims.

Most malpractice claims result from disappointed expectations, anger and resentment. The idea that the hospitalist could manage that delicate balance of providing care and developing a relationship was inconceivable.