ER doctors must make split-second, life-or-death decisions every day in hospital emergency rooms. Confronted with medical emergencies involving people who have been shot, stabbed, run over by vehicles or seriously injured on the job, ER physicians may have the most stressful job in the healthcare industry.
As a consequence of being forced to make critical decisions with little time to think about them, it is no surprise that ER doctors are more likely to be sued for malpractice than most other medical professionals. In fact, the Physicians Insurers Association of America lists over 600 malpractice lawsuits that were filed against emergency room physicians between 2006 and 2008. That is approximately three percent of all patients treated by an ER doctor.
Increasing Costs of Urgent Care Clinic Malpractice Insurance Rates
Due to ERs presenting such a ridiculously high risk of malpractice suits, emergency and urgent care clinic malpractice insurance rates have soared over the past decade. Although numerous states have enacted tort reforms that cap payouts and regulate malpractice lawsuit guidelines, emergency medicine malpractice insurance carriers continue to underwrite policies that divide emergency treatments into non-surgical and trauma/surgical procedures to help reduce policy costs.
Why You Need Hospital Emergency Center Malpractice Insurance
During a medical emergency, ER physicians are trained to remain calm and focused while using all their experience and skills in diagnosing and treating seriously injured or ill patients. However, even the best ER doctors can make mistakes that may result in being hit with a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Common reasons for ER doctors to be sued for medical malpractice are:
- Failing to provide a correct diagnosis (mistaking a heart attack for acid indigestion or age-related dementia for stroke).
- Allegations of poor or negligent treatment (wounds not sterilized properly, incorrect insertion of catheters/IVs or handling patients in a way that worsens the injury).
- Failing to order administration of live-saving medication (clot-busting drugs for stroke patients).
Different Type of Policies
There also several different policy types to choose from:
- Per Visits — This is the most attractive policy because it’s solely calculated on patients. There is no additional cost for adding providers, and there’s no additional cost for providers leaving. Tail cost is only paid for on closed locations, or the policy ceases to exist. Premium refunds are also available so you see fewer patients than expected.
- Slot/FTE — If the per visits option is not available, Slot/FTE is the second best option. This allows for the providers to come and go, but provides no refunded premium for seeing fewer patients. Tail cost is only paid when a policy ceases to exist or a slot/FTE is closed.
- Individual — This is a less attractive option due to adding costs for each new provider, along with a tail cost for each new provider leaving.
- Premium Rating — This policy is broken down between Fast Track and Emergency. This is because fast track visits are at a lower acuity and should be charged at a cheaper premium. Fast Track visits are also a larger percentage of the overall annual visits. By doing this, it results in a lower overall cost.
- ‘A’ rated AM Best Carriers
- Terminated physician roster
- Cyber and regulatory coverage
Ask a Gallagher Advisor to Find a Competitive Hospital Emergency Center Malpractice Insurance Quote
To receive the most affordable emergency and urgent care clinic malpractice insurance rates available in your state, contact a Gallagher malpractice insurance advisor today, and we will investigate multiple malpractice insurance carriers that offer customized policies to accommodate your needs.