Understanding Hospitalist Medical Malpractice Liability Insurance

March 16, 2017

To understand hospitalist medicine, your insurance broker or agent must have experience in the medical professional liability insurance industry.

It is very helpful to have a team of professional liability underwriters who understand how to develop premium according to actual exposure.

Tail Coverage (Extended Reporting Coverage)

Coverage that protects the physician against all claims that arise from professional services performed while the claims-made policy was in effect, but which were reported after the termination of the policy. Some insurers offer this feature free of charge for retiring doctors who meet certain requirements.

The connection between Tail coverage and Hospitalist Medicine

Years ago The Doctors Insurance Agency was working with a small emergency medical group in Contra Costa County. We developed a concept of pre-funding the expensive cost of tail. By pre-funding this cost , this small emergency medical group could not only budget for and manage cost of tail when each of their doctors cancel off of the policy; but more importantly for them in a time of growing managed care institutions it allowed them to recruit doctors with the assurance tail would be provided.

That concept of developing a premium by counting, measuring and attaching a price patient visit evolved into what is currently the nation's most flexible and successful hospitalist medical professional liability policy: The Doctors Insurance Agency and The Doctors Company work hard to manage the malpractice risk for the Hospitalist Physician or physician group.

For 20 years The Doctors Insurance Agency and Hospitalist medicine have been connected. As always, working with The Doctors Company, we bound (as they say in the insurance industry),one of the first hospitalist policies in the state. A small group in Fresno, which later grew to be a part of one of the largest managed care independent practice associations in the state. The key to underwriting this policy: develop a premium. They did not charge by the doctor but rather by the productivity and the actual exposure of the physicians working in the group.

From there, we have helped develop premium and policy ; worked closely with our national brokerage partners and experienced TDC underwriters on underwriting strategies.

When our groups grew across state lines, The Doctors Company, the largest medical malpractice insurance company in the country, was there there to grow across those boundaries with us. Because of this flexibility and understanding (as well as experience and financial strength), The Doctors’ Company is endorsed by the Society of Hospitalist Medicine.

Endorsements and Sponsorships

Strong advocacy takes equally strong partners.The nation’s most prestigious medical organizations recognize our efforts in support of doctors and endorse or sponsor The Doctors Company as their chosen medical liability insurance carrier. This is strong evidence of a continuing ability to fulfill the needs of Hospitalist Medicine. …and to promote superior patient care.

Premium according to actual county, state exposure:

Because The Doctors Insurance Agency has 10 professional licensed insurance agents and a 30 year history with the nation's largest company, we were able to work out a policy that allocates premium according to the number of consultations and visits and further contemplates the complicated premium variables according to county and state and percentage of time in each practice.

The work of insurance and administration of Hospitalist Medicine Liability Insurance Policies:

There are some complications and challenges in administering hospital medicine. The Doctors Insurance Agency (www.doctorsagency.com) and our years of combined insurance experience , specific to professional liability, helps us work out the many variables that can get in the way of growth. As the administrator of the hospitalist policy, you need a policy that can accomplish the following:

  • to on-board physicians without worrying about whether a future claim made against them will be covered after they cancel.
  • The policy must be able to handle the staffing requirements of a hospitalist group and partner with medical malpractice company to effectively credential new doctors.
  • Must rate paramedical providers fairly.
  • Must be interstate and easy to administer.
  • Policy premium must reflect the RVU’s or Patient Encounters (not physician count)

A successful hospitalist group must work to build a roster of available doctors to meet the 24 hours a day seven days a week staffing requirements. The policy has to contemplate incurred but not reported tail and the premium has to be manageable -not cost prohibitive.

The Doctors Insurance Agency anxiously and eagerly await the opportunity to work with your organization.