South Florida Hospital News
Thursday August 13, 2020

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April 2010 - Volume 6 - Issue 10


Malpractice Insurance

I remember attending law school in Albany New York twenty years ago, across the street from Albany Medical hospital. We played ball with the medical students. I remember after we would lose we would joke "well we let you win this time because in a few years we will win it all" I certainly have changed my practice since then. Instead of taking from doctors I try to protect them from many liabilities including themselves. Most Doctors that I know, know nothing about investments, taxes, and insurance. Every physician needs to know how to make an informed and educated decision about their medical malpractice insurance. Unfortunately, most medical schools do not teach doctors about finances including about medical malpractice insurance. Not to seek out the necessary advice would be financial suicide. Just as with other businesses owners’ physicians need to learn how to protect themselves and educate themselves regarding financial services including insurance.

The business of being a medical provider is unique in a way. Simply because of the high regard the patience have for their doctors, the societal pressures, and the demands Doctors put on themselves. It has been my experience that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. For example if physicians would routinely review several frequently asked questions with their patients they would significantly reduce the amount of erroneous malpractice claims, and perhaps lower their mal practice insurance premiums.

  1. Are you Board certified in the surgical procedure you’ll be performing on me?
  2. Do you perform this procedure on a regular basis?
  3. Do you plan to do this procedure in a hospital or in your office?
  4. How do other patients with health factors and surgical needs such as mine fare under your care?
  5. What are the potential complications I could face and are you prepared to handle them?
  6. What is the risk of infection?
  7. Could I die?
  8. What is my role as I recover from this procedure?
  9. Is this operation absolutely necessary and what could happen if I choose to forego it?
  10. What are the likely long-term effects of this procedure?
Of course this is not a complete list; however it is a start in the right direction. While you provide this sort of extra prevention your insurance carrier should be made aware. Perhaps your insurance carrier would have systems to reduce your risk of exposure and as such would with compliance reduce your premiums. One such provider that I am aware of is Capacity insurance, Sevil Catempe, at (954) 763-3302 ext 203. She will help shop for the malpractice provider that best fits your needs. Discussing the questions and having them posted in your office would go a very long way in preventing law suits. In fact you are familiar with this approach; you have seen it in other scenarios such as in parking garages were a sign is posted " not responsible for lost or stolen items". Truly the garage can be held liable, however by posting the sign, when a belligerent patron approaches they merely point to the sign. The best defense to a lawsuit is prevention.
For more information, contact the Law Offices of Eric Yankwitt at (954) 449-4368 ext. 201.
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