What is Medical Malpractice and How Does It Affect a Nurse? Maybe it would be a good idea to consider $100 to invest into yourself as a new nurse. Here are a few: • Only physicians get sued for malpractice. So before you decide to solely depend on your employer’s policy, at least be sure about the kind of coverage to which you are entitled. Such incidents are not unheard of, and your employer’s policy will be terminated in such cases. Types of Reforms The debate over medical malpractice reform typically takes place between two different groups of people: patient advocates and physician organizations. Many pros and cons to consider for professional liability insurance. Your own individual insurance covers you beyond the limits of your employer provided plan. I have been working as an RN for a few years now, and in that time I have always held nursing insurance, discounted through my membership with my state nursing association. Title: K:Fla Nursing Law ManualCh-7 Nursing Liability Insurance-revised.rtf Author: Owner Created Date: 12/26/2008 8:49:42 PM Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. If you are confident in your actions, abilities, and training, then it may be foolish to purchase this insurance. Contact your web host and ask them to enable imagepng for PHP. When deciding if nursing malpractice insurance is worth investing in for yourself, it is important to weigh all the pros and cons out with your personal financial situation. If you are a nurse, chances are this question has crossed your mind all too often. Medical malpractice cases involving nurses can really get complicated, as they are usually the primary care providers for patients in hospitals. Attorneys are likely to keep our name as a defendant(s) if they are aware of the fact that you have insurance coverage to pay for the settlements. • You don’t need your own insurance because your Also, it is more than likely that your employer didn’t disclose the exact clause of the insurance coverage. Besides, there are certain limits of liability applicable to malpractice insurance policies. Currently, she is writing on behalf of a civil trial attorney, Christopher Jayson, Founder at, Sign up now to get your free digital subscription to, JFSW Law - Tampa Medical Malpractice Lawyer, Workplace Health and Safety Tips for Nurses. MYTH: You don’t need your own insurance because your employer’s policy covers you. That said, you cannot overrule the fact that having an individual malpractice insurance will increase your chances of being in a lawsuit. Unless we control the malpractice insurance costs, things will get worse. I am an RN who recently returned to work at a surgical center. Basic liability insurance provides a layer of protection that normally covers an individual for personal, bodily and property damage in the case of flawed workmanship (Joel, 2013). Though it is clear that an OH nurse must have insurance to cover malpractice, you may have to consider a … Insurance companies are a business, and businesses function to make money. Then again, are you a very organized person, or are you the type of person that whirlwinds around the floor in a chaotic fashion? 3Between 2011-2015 there were 3,498 nurses malpractice claims reported to the federal government versus 113,607 licensure disciplinary actions. Medical Malpractice Attorneys Examine the Pros and Cons of Litigation 09/21/2011 by Angela Leone Leave a Comment Recently, there has been much debate over medical malpractice lawsuits and the potential need for tort reform across the United States. They say that I would be covered under my facility's nursing insurance and lawyer in the event of a malpractice suit involving me and … Your Experience with Coronavirus (COVID-19) Matters, Reducing Health Disparities in Underserved Communities, © 2020 Springer Publishing Company | Privacy Policy, Rachel Oliver is a freelance writer from Florida, who loves to write about topics like personal injury law, automobile accidents law, and medical negligence law. While nurses work hard and you may believe being professional and good at your job may protect you, the reality is that false claims are made and anyone can make an error. A nurse practitioner (NP) writes: "My collaborative MD believes that I should not need more liability insurance than his rider. Pros to Having Nursing Malpractice Insurance: Firstly, it is important to understand what malpractice insurance offers that the health care system’s lawyers do not. However, it is still important for nurses to get individual medical malpractice insurance as a large number of medical complaints are being filed against these health care providers with the Board of Nurses (BON). If you need a reminder why professional liability insurance is important, just spend a couple of minutes with a commercial insurance agent who will be happy to regale you with anecdotes of the horrors of practicing uninsured. ERROR: si-captcha.php plugin: imagepng function not detected in PHP! What are the pros and cons of this arrangement, including issues related to professional liability, workers compensation and taxes? Whenever we think of medical lawsuits and malpractice insurance, we normally imagine surgeons and anesthesiologists paying a tiny percentage of their massive salaries to protect themselves against a possible negative outcome. Blog. Like any other type of optional insurance, nursing malpractice insurance can be very appropriate for some people. If you are getting sued as a nurse for $800,000, and the hospital covers 90% of the cost and you get to keep your nursing license (best case scenario), you still would owe $80,000 out of pocket. Carrying your own medical malpractice insurance provides an added protection. Even though they’re covering the burden of the cost, you still have to muster up a huge amount of money. Even if the allegations are unfounded, it can seriously damage your reputation. Nurses who are covered only by their employer’s insurance share their liability limits with other defendants who are also protected under the same policy. But counting solely on your employer's program may not provide all the coverage you need. This will only be revealed after the plaintiff had filed a lawsuit against you. While it’s true that nursing malpractice insurance isn’t for everyone, it is foolish to dismiss it without genuine consideration. Nursing malpractice insurance is not something that is frequently talked about in hospitals, and it is likely that you don’t know which of your colleagues are and aren’t insured. Even if the allegations are unfounded, it … Your email address will not be published. Liability Insurance for Nurses As a nurse, you work hard in your career and the care and treatment of your patients. I found out they do not treat RNs as employees, but as independent contractors who are given a 1099 at the end of the year. The report analyzed and reviewed 549 nurse closed claims, out of which 88.5% were registered nurses, while the remaining 11.5% were licensed practical nurses and licensed vocational nurses. Like any other type of insurance, health care systems have certain deductibles through which they protect their staff. An individual malpractice insurance policy provides peace of mind and protects against the financial ruin that can result from being sued. Failing to fight the BON only means to agree to whatever restrictions they pose on their license. Checking with your nurse practitioner colleagues would be a good initial resource to explore. Some general comments can be made here, but the decision to carry your own professional liability insurance is one you will need to make yourself. Some insurance will also cover your time lost from work and will also pay for your lodging and meals. Occurrence-based coverage helps cover any incident that occurs no matter where you work, or even if you are working. The reasons for professional liability insurance are woven into the fabric of most professions. Nurses have a substantially larger risk of being investigated and disciplined by their licensing boards than do physicians. However, unlike surgeons and physicians, not all nurses carry nursing liability insurance as many of them largely depend on employer’s policies without realizing that it isn’t always enough. We already are facing a major shortage of medical professionals. It can even cover a nurse during retirement. Although many nurses in the United States are covered under a medical malpractice insurance carrier, a significant number of nurses are not. Because it is their attorney who will work for their best interests (and not yours). That said, the actual cost of your policy will depend on a number of factors, including your years of experience, education, state(s) in which you work, and time spent on the job. But the truth is that a nurse can be sued for medical malpractice at any time. If it is deemed that you as a nurse made a mistake that didn’t follow the exact correct procedure, the hospital can distance itself from representing you and the case in general, protect their funds and reputations, and leave you defenseless against a massive lawsuit. Nursing malpractice insurance overcomes both of these barriers, and for a very low cost. Are you a new nurse who maybe doesn’t have tons of experience yet, but does cherish your nursing license? Conversely, are you a nurse with years of experience within your current unity? There have been some well-publicized doctor strikes to protest malpractice insurance costs that amount to as much as $200,000 per year, depending on specialty. Although many nurses in the United States are covered under a medical malpractice insurance carrier, a significant number of nurses are not. Many within the medical community overlook the possibility of nursing malpractice insurance. So if you have been told that your employer’s policy will suffice in case of a medical malpractice lawsuit, it is only a fabricated truth. Sept. 17, 2020. But Nurses Are Still Uninsured In some cases, the employer’s policy does not cover your personal fees. Why? Questions on Malpractice Insurance. It is important to consider your personality, financial situation, experience as a nurse, experience within the specific type of unit, etc. Having your own liability insurance therefore ensures a peace of mind as you won’t be stripped of your personal savings and belongings even if you were responsible for the said medical malpractice. It also, depending on the policy, will often cover licensure defense, if the nurse is reported to the board of nursing. This is especially applicable for nurses working in critical units and specialty areas. Cons, Big Cons and Medical Malpractice Reform The argument for medical malpractice reform centers around the high costs of medical malpractice insurance premiums associated with frivolous lawsuits. As mentioned, an employer’s policy, first and foremost, protects the interests of your employer. The Verdict? For example, many believe that carrying a medical malpractice insurance will further increase their risk of being sued. Pros One of the pros is that the insurance covers personally for a nurse an area where most organizations don’t. Whether you're self-employed, work for someone else or own a business or staffing agency, the Professional Liability Insurance offered through Nurses Service Organization (NSO) is pleased to offer an array of quality insurance products designed to fit your needs. Because it’s not talked about, many incoming new nurses assume that none of their peers have personal insurance, and never consider it for themselves. Most nurses who rely on employer coverage alone have never seen the policy or asked about the scope of coverage. Springhouse Corporation; Springhouse, PA. 2001: 161. If you are grossly responsible for the plaintiff’s suffering and if he/she is awarded a settlement, your employer’s policy may not be enough to pay the damages and you may have to pay the compensation fully or partially. If you’re considering different medical malpractice insurance options, you might wonder about occurrence vs. claims made malpractice insurance. With today's high costs of a lawsuit, professional liability insurance is a must for all healthcare providers. Let’s see why you should consider having nurses’ liability insurance just like any other medical professionals. I've talked to several lawyers who have handled cases of malpractice against nurses. In addition, having malpractice insurance ensures that the lawyers on the case are representing you, and not the health care system that employs you. Nurses in all fields face a dilemma when considering professional liability insurance, and occupational health nurses may have a few additional issues to consider. Nurses and nurse practitioners benefit from malpractice insurance — and in many cases, such a policy may be very affordable if there is already coverage under an employer’s policy. That is an extremely large amount of coverage for such a little sum of money. Many nurses choose not to carry malpractice insurance because they believe that it’s paying $100 per year for no real benefit. Their names were often dropped out of a lawsuit as they lacked the deep pockets unlike surgeons, physicians, and hospitals. However, most of my coworkers are uninsured and question why I even have it. A disciplinary action or malpractice lawsuit can have unforeseen consequences on both your career and financial future. When you need professional liability insurance there is a very simple solution. Moreover, your employer’s policy not only fails to cover the total award but also doesn’t remain effective after job termination. “A lot of myths keep nurses from getting malpractice insurance,” Mackay added. The topic of professional liability insurance has many pros and cons depending on with whom you speak. ERROR: si-captcha.php plugin: GD image support not detected in PHP! Professional liability insurance typically pays for a defense attorney and any settlement or judgment against the nurse, up to the policy limits. A malpractice case typically has three defining factors. There are two general holes in that theory: one caveat to the health care system’s lawyers is that they are lawyers on behalf of the hospital, not the nurses. Is money tight or do you have a little bit of a cushion? Many argue that the employer’s policy covers the nurses against medical liability as well. Should Nurses Consider Medical Malpractice Insurance, Too? Many within the medical community overlook the possibility of nursing malpractice insurance. Each school nurse should also understand the various types of insurance policies available and how an individual policy is affected by coverage provided through the school district policy or self-insurance program. Most nurses are able to get $1,000,000 of coverage for the price of about $100 per year. Source: Nurse Professional Liability Exposures: 2015 Claim Report Update, CNA and NSO. Many nurses never consider buying individual insurance because they have been assured that the health care system they are employed by will come to their aid. Drawbacks to Nursing Malpractice Insurance: As was previously stated, most nursing malpractice insurance policies offer about $1,000,000 for about $100 per year. Maintaining your own malpractice insurance is definitely another way to avoid personal devastation should you be named in a malpractice case. Having your own policy not only covers you but also provides peace of mind during the most stressful times of your professional life. The second limitation to trusting the health care system to protect you is that they often have maximums. This may result in minor to severe injury or even death of the patients in some cases. Not having insurance did not protect them. Ruth. Against this backdrop, malpractice premiums are at a per-physician thirty-year low. How will the potential plaintiff know if you are covered under an individual malpractice insurance, unless of course you inform them voluntarily? In addition, the plaintiff needs to prove that the damage caused to the patient is directly related to this negligence or breach of duty. • If you have your own insurance, you’re more likely to get sued. Back to school tips for parents supporting home learners Like any other type of optional insurance, nursing malpractice insurance can be very appropriate for some people, and a total waste of money for others. There are again certain types of employment such as contractual jobs, part-time, or agency employment where you are not entitled to receive a similar kind of coverage enjoyed by a full-time nurse. Since that time, there has been a consistent ebb and flow of debate about the pros and cons of medical malpractice reform, with some arguing in favor of alternatives. Pros to Having Nursing Malpractice Insurance: Firstly, it is important to understand what malpractice insurance offers that the health care system’s lawyers do not. Malpractice insurance may not be a sure bet for OH nurses. The policy provides professional liability insurance coverage for the business entity named on the certificate of insurance and any of the employees of the business entity, provided they are a ratable profession within our program. It can be a complex comparison to understand, but it’s vital to become familiar with it so you can make the best choice when it comes to purchasing an insurance policy.
2020 pros and cons of malpractice insurance for nurses