In Florida, medical professionals and institutions have the option to go bare — meaning they can forgo traditional medical malpractice insurance coverage in favor of cutting costs across the board. Without insurance, doctors and hospitals can eliminate the costly annual premiums paid to insurance companies, and in some cases, the money saved can work toward cost-cutting measures for patients and procedures. Medical malpractice defense attorneys at Lubell Rosen, a Florida law firm with offices in New York, New Jersey and Georgia, offer local doctors who are going bare a pre-paid monthly flat fee to retain their legal services without the need to procure the usual coverage.
Over the last few years, several hospitals in New York have been turning to the “going bare” trend as well, opting out of pricey malpractice insurance premiums in favor of operating uninsured, or with limited malpractice insurance coverage. These hospitals are, far and wide, in the poorer neighborhoods of New York. Their administrators and executives say that they do not have the financial resources to pay millions of dollars in malpractice premiums and continue to provide quality medical care.
Hospitals in New York do not need to operate with malpractice insurance, nor do they need to disclose to patients that they are going bare, medical malpractice defense attorneys in New York report. New York and Florida are just two of the many states that do not require malpractice insurance. In a statement, Dominic A Colaizzo, chairman of the national healthcare practice for insurance brokerage Aon, said that “it’s not effective for the hospitals to buy the coverage because they charge so much. If [they] have to pay for nurses versus funds for malpractice, what are the hospitals going to do?” Given the choices available for these institutions, going bare is more practical than closing their doors.
Going without insurance is not a way to escape responsibility, hospital administrators say. Rather, it is a way to redirect focus and finances towards patient care, by offering competitive pay to skilled doctors and nurses and diverting funds to offer lower costs and options for their patients. Some hospitals without insurance coverage have also begun setting aside funds to cover potential lawsuits or liability expenses.
As hospitals begin to forgo malpractice insurance coverage, medical malpractice defense attorneys at Lubell Rosen’s offices in Upper Saddle River, N.J., and Syosset, N.Y., anticipate that doctors will be the next group to go bare. There is evidence to suggest, especially in the pilot instances of “going bare” in Florida, that practicing medicine while uninsured actually reduces the risk of a malpractice lawsuit, especially because most lawyers will consider the best, and most financially prudent, plan of attack when taking on a malpractice case.
At Lubell Rosen, our medical malpractice defense attorneys offer innovative legal representation, especially for doctors and hospitals who want to get out of the insurance business and refocus on the medicine they practice and the patients they are here to help. If you want to start “going bare,” contact a Lubell Rosen attorney in your state to discuss your options for retaining legal services and covering yourself in liability suits today.