New York State does not require that hospitals have medical malpractice insurance and now several New York hospitals are making the conscience decision not to carry malpractice insurance. Many of these hospitals say that they cannot afford to pay for insurance with the raising costs of the premiums. However, insurance experts argue that even though, dropping malpractice insurance may look like a good idea economically in the short term, it is not in the best interests of patients and may end up being more costly to the hospitals in the long term. For example, if a large malpractice judgment is found against an uninsured hospital is could for force the hospital into bankruptcy or require payments over time.
Since, malpractice insurance is not required, these hospitals are operating within the limits of the law and in these hard economic times it might make sense for some hospitals with low budgets to forego insurance. However, if you are going to be a patient in a hospital without insurance there are some things that you should know. If you go to a hospital without insurance coverage and a doctor or hospital staff member acts negligently causing you injury, it will be much more difficult to remedy your injury if the hospital does not have insurance.
A hospital without insurance will likely not have the ability to pay the damages that could potentially be awarded in a medical malpractice lawsuit. Some hospitals that have decided to forego insurance, actually only cut one type of insurance, either keeping their primary coverage and foregoing their excessive coverage or vice versa. Other hospitals have foregone coverage but are attempting to set aside money in the instance that a lawsuit comes up, however, this is very difficult to do. Which ever of these options a hospital chooses, it can and will still make it difficult for a patient to recover.
It will be especially hard to recover if you are looking to recover a large judgment for serious damage, for example an injury that will require expensive long term care. Lawyers who represent patients at some of the uninsured hospitals say that they have been bullied into settlements because the hospital threatens that it will have to file for bankruptcy if the patient does not take a lower settlement. This clearly prevents a patient who is seriously injured from being able to recover because no one wants a hospital to have to declare bankruptcy, as it could give the patient a lower payment or no payment; plus no one wants to be responsible for a hospital going bankrupt.
Hospitals in New York do not have to carry malpractice insurance and they do not have to tell you that they don’t have malpractice insurance. This is a very scary situation that people may find themselves in if they run into a problem at a hospital. It is something that everyone must be aware of because it could end up affecting your life or someone that you know.
But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] . You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.