Medical Malpractice v. Errors & Omissions

Medical malpractice policies issued by preferred admitted insurance carriers such as The Doctors Company, Medical Protective, etc., generally limit coverage to “failure to render or inadequately render care” or “hands on medical malpractice” as we refer to it.  Coverage is provided under the malpractice policy by the insurer for this typical doctor-patient relationship.

When MD’s or DO’s are involved in a practice that provides a service which does not involve direct patient care, a grey area of risk may exist.

A policy specifically written for doctors treating patients does not intend to cover physicians who do not provide hands on treatment or care. If a physician is teaching or merely doing exams or evaluations for third parties, a typical malpractice policy will not extend coverage to this exposure.

In our 25+ years of healthcare industry specialization, underwriters at the traditional companies offering medical malpractice products to doctors will not knowingly write coverage for doctors or corporations who are not providing direct doctor-patient hands on care.  Their policies and rates simply are not designed for this business model.

With this said, the proper way to insure doctors and entities providing teaching or evaluations and exams, and not hands on treatment or care is through one of the following mechanisms:

A)     Modifying by endorsement the physicians and surgeons medical malpractice form to include non-treatment related exposure.

OR

 B)     Writing a specific miscellaneous healthcare professional liability policy (AKA E&O) which excludes “Failure to render or inadequately render care” but provides coverage for exams, evaluations and other specifically agreed upon services.

In many cases, our clients carry a portfolio of policies, designed to cover their specific business models and exposures, including General Liability, Directors & Officers, Errors &Omissions, Employment Related Practices Liability and Medical Malpractice.