The Naked Truth Behind Going Bare

Sidenote: Have you considered “going bare” –or without liability insurance? At first glance, it might seem appealing: you would save a lot of money by not having to pay liability insurance premiums and you are a far less attractive malpractice target, as your pockets (and your practice’s) are significantly less deep than your insurance company’s pockets. But, upon closer look, it is almost never worth it. This article addresses several possible situations and scenarios. Highlighted are some of them here. First, keep in mind the obvious: your state, or hospital/facility might require that you carry medical malpractice coverage, so going bare is not an option. Second, some states, like New Jersey, require you to carry a line of credit if you choose to forgo malpractice insurance. In this case, instead of having $1 million in insurance coverage, you are required to have a letter of credit for $500,000. What does this mean? It means you once again have “deep pockets.” And, if you do get sued, you are required to pay all costs, including lawyer fees, expert witness fees, settlements and awards, etc., via this letter of credit. Another option that may be appealing at first glance is a defense-only policy. This policy would pay to defend you in a negligence suit, but it would not provide indemnity if there is a payout. This is hugely risky because a large payout could result in a lien on your assets and the possibility of garnishing your future wages. Read on for more reasons why going bare is rarely a good idea.

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From Medscape Business of Medicine > Your Malpractice Advisor
Your Malpractice Advisor: Could You Do Better By ‘Going Bare’?
Brian S. Kern, Esq
Posted: 01/25/2011

The recent closing of St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York City illustrates the major risks to physicians who get malpractice insurance through their hospitals or large medical groups.

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Katie Leander

About Katie Leander

Katie is a Writer and Content Strategist with Ms. Leander’s background is in medical education and medical ethics.

Prior to, she worked in the Department of Education at the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. While there, she conducted their Learner’s Needs Assessment, served on the Research Advisory and Advocacy Committee, the Education Subcommittee and overhauled the evaluation component of their CME program, as well as worked on several of their CME programs and revised and updated The Resident’s Research Packet.

Before that, she was in the Institute for Ethics at the American Medical Association, where she was the Project Manager for a $1.7 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to develop a train-the-trainer curriculum on End-of-life Care, called EPEC (Education for Physicians on End-of-life Care). She managed all aspects of the EPEC Project, including: the website, inquiries from the public, and multiple nation-wide conferences. She also coordinated the development, data collection, drafting and editing of three major publications: EPEC Speakers List, EPEC Resource Guide, and EPEC Curriculum.

Before that, she was at the University of Illinois at Chicago in the Department of Medicine. While there, she served as a Research Specialist in the Health Sciences in the Program in Clinical Ethics. She co-taught Facing Mortality, a first-year elective medical school course, led a discussion section for Ethics and Law, a second-year required medical school course, and coordinated all aspects of Topics in Clinical Ethics, a course for hospital staff. She also served as Secretary for the Hospital Ethics Committee where she participated in the review and drafting of hospital policies, and headed the Education Subcommittee.

With, she frequently writes about patient satisfaction, physician bedside manner, and generally how good doctor-patient communication can help physicians lower their medical malpractice risk and improve patient care.

She also serves on the Family Advisory Board of Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, and the Board of Directors of Lucky Plush Productions, a nationally-known modern dance company.