How Can the ACA Affect Medical Malpractice Cases?
As the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Healthcare Reform, begins to take effect many people are noticing how healthcare in general is different. At a recent medical insurance conference, questions were raised as to how exactly the ACA would affect the healthcare industry. Will providers face more risks? Will they face changing risks? What will an influx of new patients mean to the healthcare market place?
The concerns have arisen because doctors will now be seeing a much higher patient volume than in the past, meaning that many may be overwhelmed. Many panelists at the conference expressed worry that ACA-driven quality and standard measures will begin to alter the way “standard of care” plays out in the courtroom. The healthcare industry is also concerned that the ACA will potentially open up medical professionals to more malpractice cases based on vicarious liability, according to panelist Molly L. Farrell, vice president of operations, MGIS Underwriting Managers, Inc.
Another way that many insurance professionals feel that the ACA will affect medical malpractice claims are through improper handoffs. While team-based care is intended to promote better clinician communication and coordination, the fear is that handoffs will simply be a solution to overworked and/or overburdened doctors. This could in turn increase the risk of patient information falling through the cracks, which could later turn into a patient lawsuit.
At this time, many physicians are still unsure about how the Affordable Care Act will affect their bottom line, as well and their medical malpractice risks. One thing is for sure though, physicians today need to be covered with the right insurance policy now more than ever.
At PLRisk Advisors, we provide Professional Liability, or Errors & Omissions, insurance products for a number of professions. We understand that running a professional services business exposes your clients to extraordinary liability risks, especially if they are in the medical field. To learn more about how we can assist your clients with their professional liability needs, please contact us at (855) 403-5982.