PracticeLink Magazine

Winter 2019

The career development quarterly for physicians of all specialties, PracticeLink Magazine provides readers with feature articles, compensation stats, helpful job search tips—as well as recruitment ads from organizations across the U.S.

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Page 25 of 83

26 W INTER 2019 ▼ T HE Qu AL I T y O f L I f E ISS u E D E P A R T M E N T S Legal Matters S a R a H yate S R e DD y , e SQ. a physician's guide to professional liability insurance What to get in place when starting a new job — and what to do if a claim gets filed. KN o W i NG you 'R e C o V e R e D B y PR ofe SS io N al lia B ility i NS u R a NC e a ND u ND e RS ta ND i NG WH at t H at M ea NS a R e t W o V e R y D iffe R e N t t H i NGS. For most physicians, the burden may be as simple as knowing the carrier, the policy limits and the process your employer requires for reporting potential or realized claims against you. For others, such as those in a partnership, private practice, or shareholder group, you will need to research potential carriers, understand policy options and the potential impact on your practice should a claim be filed, and consult with professionals regarding the best policy for your practice. What's available There are two basic forms of medical malpractice insurance: claims based and occurrence based. A claims-based or claims-made policy provides professional liability coverage for incidents that occur and are reported during a period of coverage by a particular carrier. What's important to understand with this type of policy is that both the incident and the claim must occur during the period of coverage for the policy to cover the claim. This is important to understand because most states provide a statute of limitations on professional negligence claims and thus the claim for any given incident may occur within two to five years after the occurrence. If you have a claims-based or claims-made policy and you leave your employer or your current employer changes carriers, you are best advised to seek out "tail" coverage. Tail coverage will extend the prior claims- based coverage and protect you should a claim arise later. It will be important to review your employment contract to see if your current or past employer is responsible for payment of this coverage, if you are bound to initiate your own tail coverage, or if the agreement is silent on tail coverage. The most important thing to remember with any type of coverage is that all dates of practice are covered by a sufficient policy. Occurrence-based policies are far more desirable. So long as the incident claimed occurs during the period of coverage, the claim will be covered by the policy even after your departure from the group or change in

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