While hospitals in New York are not required to carry medical malpractice insurance coverage most people assume that the hospitals they receive their care at are in fact insured.
A state report recently found that several New York City hospitals carry little to no coverage at all. Apparently it is not uncommon for big city hospitals to forego medical malpractice insurance coverage. In other areas such as Philadelphia, Chicago and Florida-Dade county many hospitals do not have medical malpractice insurance coverage.
Many physicians employed by hospitals or those physicians who have visiting privileges at hospitals will carry their own liability coverage, separate from any hospital coverage.
So how do these hospitals pay for medical malpractice claims where they are held liable? Most hospitals say that they set aside funds to pay for claims, however, the state report found that two of the City hospitals that were un-insured had no money set aside for claims. Another hospital, Wyckoff Heights Medical Center had $50,000 in their reserve and as of last year they had nothing.
The issue that arises for patients and medical malpractice attorneys advocating for patients’ rights is who to sue when medical negligence occurs. If hospitals do not carry liability insurance and do not have anything in their reserves, they are unable to pay out claims and many times these community hospitals will be forced to close their doors. Attorneys have to argue that the physicians shared greater responsibility in the negligence in order to tap into the physician’s medical malpractice insurance in order to have patients’ needs taken care of.
But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! I 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.