Malpractice insurance covers a medical professional in the case of a lawsuit by a patient due to neglect or by a patient's family member in case of death. This type of professional liability generally carries a high monthly premium. This is especially true for medical professionals including doctors, surgeons, gynecologists, and any person working in a high-risk position.
Malpractice insurance rates have increased in recent years, which can become very expensive for many doctors. Rates have increased so much which has caused many doctors to relocate to states that offer lower rates. Many doctors have even stopped practicing medicine and found other careers.
It’s important to know that the cost of medical malpractice insurance is different for each individual. One of the the things that providers look at when determining insurance rates is the state where the doctor practices medicine. They will also look at the potential for malpractice lawsuits in that state and branch of medicine.
The cost of medical malpractice insurance also varies among medical specialties. The levels of risks and history of litigation is remarkably diverse. For example, OBGYNs are the most likely of all physicians to be sued, so they may see higher insurance premiums.
Here are a few tips for doctors who want to reduce their medical malpractice insurance costs:
1. Get a few quotes - It’s easy to just accept the insurance that your employer provides, but you should shop around and get quotes from several insurance companies before making a decision. Many doctors overpay for insurance because they don’t do this.
2. Sign up for a risk management class - There are malpractice insurance providers that will give a discount to doctors who take a risk management course.
3. Get board certified - Doctors can reduce their premiums by becoming board certified.
4. Have a clean record - If a doctor has practiced medicine for five years and has not had a claim filed against him/her, a discount may be given.
It’s also important for doctors to work with an insurance broker who specializes in medical malpractice insurance. A professional, experienced broker should have a network of resources that will help when shopping for insurance.
Until the health care system addresses medical malpractice insurance rates , it's important for medical professionals to focus on preventative measures to protect them themselves from liability. Regardless of all the politics involved, what is most important is that the medical community remember what they signed up for and concentrate on taking care of people's health.