Poll re: NP malpractice insurance

  1. 0 Hi all,

    I know this is completely unscientific, but I would really appreciate as many partipants as possible for this poll on malpractice insurance. I read many people here stating to carry malpractice insurance (which I have done as a bedside nurse for 21 years), but I don't know any NPs IRL who carry their own malpractice insurance. They all state that "the hospital has good coverage." This makes me nervous and of course, I realize the safest thing is to carry my own in case something would happen (god forbid) and the hospital would throw me under the bus. Yet, it is quite expensive and so far, it's all been money going out.
  2. Poll: If you are currently employed as an APN, do you carry APN malpractice insurance?

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    • All participants and their votes will be visible to the public.
  3. Visit  tryingtohaveitall profile page

    About tryingtohaveitall

    tryingtohaveitall has '23' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'PICU'. From 'midwest'; Joined Oct '08; Posts: 505; Likes: 290.

    13 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  Alisabeth profile page
    0
    Malpractice is very expensive, especially depending on your state. If you can afford it, it would only benefit you to have your own. From what I have been told and understand, if you purchase your own malpractice insurance you will be defended and protects to the fullest extent. If you have your employers/hospital malpractice they will defend you and protect you but at the same time they are also looking out for the best interest of the hospital or your employer. Also, be aware every state is very different in terms of malpractice and lawsuits.
  5. Visit  elkpark profile page
    1
    I am a CNS, not an NP, but I have always (in a few different states over the years) carried my own insurance regardless of whether my employer "covers" me under their insurance or not, same as I always carried my own insurance as a generalist nurse. Several employers have required me to have my own insurance and provide them with proof of current coverage. I would never consider working a single day without my own coverage.
    sirI likes this.
  6. Visit  tryingtohaveitall profile page
    0
    One thing an intensivists said that I thought was interesting-as long as I am following hospital policies, they can't throw me under the bus or they are also opening themselves and the collaborating MDs up to liability.
  7. Visit  sirI profile page
    0
    but I don't know any NPs IRL who carry their own malpractice insurance.
    That is very surprising.

    I have my individual policy and always have: NSO
  8. Visit  sirI profile page
    0
    Several employers have required me to have my own insurance and provide them with proof of current coverage. I would never consider working a single day without my own coverage.
    Agree with both statements.
  9. Visit  elkpark profile page
    0
    I agree that the issue of creating trouble for the collaborating MD may provide some "cover" to the APN; but, as a CNS, I've never had a collaborating or supervising physician, and, even if I did, I still wouldn't be willing to take the chance. I've seen too many hospitals throw too many RNs under the bus over the years.

    Another consideration is that your employer's insurance only covers you while you are at work for that employer. Your own insurance covers you 24/7, in any location (so, you are covered if you want to volunteer for a charitable/community organization, or help out a friend or family member with healthcare needs, or stop at an accident), covers you (provides legal representation) if you are deposed or called as a witness in a suit against someone else, and covers you if you need to go before the BON to defend your license. None of those are covered by your employer.

    My dad was a physician, and he told me 'waaaay back when I was originally in nursing school that I should never practice without my own coverage, and never depend on an employer to protect my interests -- and everything I've seen over the nearly 30 years I've been in nursing since then has just proven to me what good advice that was.
  10. Visit  traumaRUs profile page
    0
    Well, no offense to the MDs that you work with. However, when you are sued because of your actions, your MD may or may not be charged. And...after you get thru the litigation, figure 5-10 years later, IF you are found negligent (and you really may or may not be guilty), you will get reported to the BON as a found claim and then the BON will come looking for you. Oh did I mention the National Practitioners Databank? Getting reported there brings up red flags too.....I too would never work a day without my own malpractice insurance.
  11. Visit  elkpark profile page
    0
    Quote from tryingtohaveitall
    One thing an intensivists said that I thought was interesting-as long as I am following hospital policies, they can't throw me under the bus or they are also opening themselves and the collaborating MDs up to liability.
    The other thing about this "as long as you're following the hospital's policies" meme that I (with the experience I now have) always find amusing -- how well do you know the hospital's policies/procedure, all of them? Are you absolutely sure that you are 100% in compliance with all the hospital's policies/procedures all day every day? Because what will happen when something goes wrong (when there is some sort of bad outcome) is that, as soon as the adminsitration finds out about it, the legal department and risk management department will start combing the records looking for someone that they can blame for the incident/outcome, for any reason whatsoever.

    Maybe there was a day, back in some Golden Age of healthcare, when employers would stand by their employees who had acted in good faith, and present a united front, when something bad happened. However, civil lawsuits work under a different set of rules than criminal lawsuits, and, in court, the hospital can minimize its own culpability/liability if it can argue that someone else is to blame, all or in part, for the incident/outcome. It is greatly to the hospital's advantage to find one or more individual employees that it can blame for the incident, and, believe me, that is what they all do. I saw this happen many times, at many hospitals, when I worked as a hospital surveyor for my state and CMS.
  12. Visit  AtomicWoman profile page
    0
    One of my nursing professors was also an attorney who defended nurses in lawsuits. She told us to always carry our own malpractice. If the hospital's/employer's lawyers decide it is best for their case to throw you under the bus, they will do so.
  13. Visit  Annaiya profile page
    0
    I'm really not sure where I stand on this issue, but one of the NPs I work with said never to carry your own insurance, because it makes you more likely to be sued. If you have a juicy insurance policy to go after, you are more likely to be named in a suit. However, if all you have to offer are school loans, they aren't going to waste the money to pursue a defendant who will never be able to pay the judgement. As for the following hospital policy argument, all of the cases I've read have said that as long as you're following the applicable standard of care, it doens't matter if it is in accordance with hospital policy or not. I looked, and could not find one case that said not following hospital policy created liability. Of course, 95% of all malpractice cases settle, and case law has a limited impact on settlement negotiations.
  14. Visit  elkpark profile page
    0
    Quote from Annaiya
    I'm really not sure where I stand on this issue, but one of the NPs I work with said never to carry your own insurance, because it makes you more likely to be sued. If you have a juicy insurance policy to go after, you are more likely to be named in a suit. However, if all you have to offer are school loans, they aren't going to waste the money to pursue a defendant who will never be able to pay the judgement. As for the following hospital policy argument, all of the cases I've read have said that as long as you're following the applicable standard of care, it doens't matter if it is in accordance with hospital policy or not. I looked, and could not find one case that said not following hospital policy created liability. Of course, 95% of all malpractice cases settle, and case law has a limited impact on settlement negotiations.
    The "it makes you a target" argument is a canard, because plaintiffs and their attorneys have no idea (and don't care) whether or not you have your own insurance when they decide who to name in a suit. Re: the "following policy" issue, you're right, the court will follow the general "standard of care" when deciding whether or not you were negligent, but your employer will use a failure to follow some picky little detail of some picky little policy you probably didn't know existed as a reason to not cover you under the hospital's policy (and, believe me, they will look hard for a reason/excuse to do this), which they are free to do. I saw this happen all the time when I worked as a hospital surveyor for my state and CMS. Once they do that, if you don't already have your own insurance, you are seriously screwed, because there is no insurance company on the planet that will sell you coverage for an incident that has already occurred, and you will be paying any costs involved out of your own pocket. And, even if they don't, the hospital's attorney who would be representing you are looking out, first and foremost, for the hospital's interests, not yours. Don't ever forget that, because they certainly will not (I don't intend that as a criticism of the attorneys -- it's just the reality of the situation).
  15. Visit  AtomicWoman profile page
    1
    Quote from Annaiya
    I'm really not sure where I stand on this issue, but one of the NPs I work with said never to carry your own insurance, because it makes you more likely to be sued. If you have a juicy insurance policy to go after, you are more likely to be named in a suit. However, if all you have to offer are school loans, they aren't going to waste the money to pursue a defendant who will never be able to pay the judgement.
    What that NP told you was complete and utter nonsense. Plaintiff's attorneys follow a strafing technique, where they name anyone and everyone that had the slightest thing to do with the case. From there, the defendants may or may not get winnowed down. The comment by elkpark is spot on regarding hospital policy. That's what allows the hospital to cut you loose from their defense of the suit: you didn't follow some obscure policy and that made you a bad employee. Poof, you'll find yourself having to hire your own lawyer to defend you.
    elkpark likes this.


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