Poll re: NP malpractice insurance
- 0Nov 1, '12 by tryingtohaveitallHi 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.
- 0Dec 26, '12 by AlisabethMalpractice 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.
- 1Dec 26, '12 by elkparkI 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.
- 0Dec 26, '12 by elkparkI 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.
- 0Dec 27, '12 by traumaRUs AdminWell, 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.
- 0Dec 28, '12 by elkparkQuote from tryingtohaveitallThe 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.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.
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.