Advantages for Physician Assistants to maintain their own Malpractice Insurance Policy

Posted by | April 08, 2014 | No Comments

With the number of Physician Assistants projected to grow 39% by the 2018, the need for individual Physician Assistant malpractice insurance coverage is growing exponentially as well.  While it is true that the supervising physician is responsible for the actions of their Physician Assistant, this does not absolve the Physician Assistant of individual liability should a malpractice claim arise.   In fact, when there is a medical malpractice settlement or judgment, the average indemnity payment for Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners was $174,871.

If a Physician Assistant does not have their own malpractice insurance policy, it is likely they are covered under their employer’s policy. However, this will only allow Physician Assistant to share limits with the physician and any other providers on the policy.

The following are important advantages for a Physician Assistant to maintain their own personal malpractice Insurance policy:

  1. Portability – It is common for a Physician Assistant to work at more than one location and/or employer and having their own malpractice insurance coverage allows them to be covered at every location under the same policy, even if working for different employers.
  2. Protect own Interests – As previously discussed, if a Physician Assistant is covered under an employer’s policy, it is likely the Physician Assistant is sharing the policy limits with the physician and any other healthcare providers. If a claim should occur, the interest of the Physician Assistant may not be the highest priority when defending the claim or negotiating a settlement.  Furthermore, by having their own policy, the Physician Assistant has their own limits of liability to protect them.
  3. Control- If covered under an employer’s policy, the Physician Assistant essentially has no control since they are not the named insured on the policy.  This can become problematic in the event the Physician Assistant terminates employment or the facility closes or consolidates. Yes, the Physician Assistant may be removed from the policy, but the employer may require the Physician Assistant to purchase tail coverage if needed. Any disruption in employment can also disrupt continuity of coverage and leave gaps in coverage.

Physician Assistant malpractice insurance coverage can be placed nation-wide with several options of limits of liability.  Additionally, these policies can be claims-made, convertible claims-made, or occurrence form.   For a quote or more information about Physician Assistant malpractice insurance coverage, please contact Diederich Healthcare today at (800) 457-7790.

To contact the author, call 800-457-7790 and ask for Matt Thompson.

About Matt Thompson (view full bio page)

Matt Thompson is currently the Assistant Vice-President of the Northeast Region serving physician-clients throughout the country. Matt joined Diederich Healthcare in 2007, bringing his experience and background in the field of law/compliance to the organization. In addition to consulting and providing malpractice insurance coverage to healthcare providers, Matt has also presented and spoken to Medical Societies/Associations, Hospitals, and Healthcare Groups about the ever-changing malpractice insurance landscape. Matt is originally from Central Illinois and he earned his Bachelor’s degree at Southern Illinois University. He further completed his Juris Doctorate of Law at the Southern Illinois University School of Law during which he worked at the Jackson County State’s Attorney office as a licensed 711 attorney. Matt and his wife Lacey are expecting their first child, Lillian, in early 2014.

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