Monday, December 19, 2005

Medical Malpractice Insurance and the UHMS (a letter from Don Chandler)

To all--

First, please accept my thanks to all of you who responded. As promised, the below represents the response I received to my inquiry about whether there were companies that listed Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine as a specialty they cover. Here's the summary. Hopefully it will be helpful to those who are searching for medical malpractice insurers.

The Doctors Company in California has had 22 years of experience in dealing with physicians who practice HBOT. See note below for address and phone number.
One of our members answers "no" to the usual questions such as whether he does surgery, delivers babies, gives electroshock, etc. (which he doesn't) and when the company asks what he does, he replies that he practices hyperbaric medicine. His company then insures him at the same premium as for a psychoanalyst.
In Florida, one of our members is covered by MagMutual Insurance Co. He operates 6 Sechrist monoplace chambers. Another member who also uses MagMutual reported that the company recognizes HBOT as low risk and classify it under primary care.
One medical malpractice company lists one of our members as "Preventive Medicine/Hyperbaric."
In the Netherlands Antilles all personnel, including volunteers who are involved in HBOT, are protected by law of the Netherlands Antilles and liability is covered by FATUM/VVAA Liability Insurance for Professionals. FATUM is/was the daughter of ING, which is available in the U.S.
One member reports that he lists UHMS as the group he belongs to. His company states that they cover other hyperbaric centers.
In Switzerland, one of our members reports that he has liability insurance that will cover any type of medical treatment he may offer to his patients. HBO is a treatment like any other one and is covered. The name of his company is AXA, but in Switzerland , any company will cover that.
It is reported that The Doctors Company has been excellent to work with and covers hyperbaric medicine (also see note above). The company address is: 185 Greenwood Road, Napa, CA 94558 Tel 707.226.0100 Attn: Eileen Reis, Agent 707.226.0224.
COPIC is reported to be a proprietary provider in Colorado and lists HBOT practitioners separately under Hyperbaric Medicine and has done so for several years. The rates from COPIC are reportedly about the same as a primary care physician who does not do obstetrics. One of our members who has used both Doctors and COPIC noted that he puts the insurance under one of his primary boards (IM was cheaper than EM) and he told them he did wound care and HBOT as well.
In Hong Kong, a member reports that his medical practice insurance is covered by Medical Protection Society (UK based). It covers hyperbaric medicine practice at a higher rate. Medical Protection website is: www.medicalprotection.org/medical/united_kingdom/default.aspx
One of our members in Arizona reported that Evanston is covering Wound Care/Hyperbaric Medicine Practice on the malpractice policy for Paradise Valley Emergency Physicians.
Peterson and Floyd is a company that has been used in years past for HBOT malpractice insurance.
Medical Protective is a company that has insured one of our members for a long time. To his knowledge, they insure him at the lowest level of Internal Medicine. Another member who insures with Medical Protective Corporation has done so for 20 years and reports they specifically cover him for Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine (that is all he does).
One email I got read, "Try CNA."
In California one of our members reports that CAP-MPT offers Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine malpractice insurance.
CPPRRG in central Pennsylvania offered one of our members a rider for Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine, but at a separate cost. He didn't take it because the amount of HBOT he does is slim.
In Texas it is reported that TMLT recognizes Hyperbaric Medicine when insuring. One of our members who uses TMLT stated that it is offered in Texas only and the rates are very reasonable and are probably in the lowest 10% of physician malpractice insurance rates.
One of our Internist members from New York reports that any Internist pays the same rate and is covered for HBOT. The only exception for Internal Medicine is L heart catheterization...so, if you are an Internist, you are covered for every aspect of your practice, including HBOT. The name of this member's company is Medical Liability Mutual Insurance Company.
A member who practices in Florida reported that he works with a large group of physicians, each with his/her own malpractice coverage. The carriers in Florida have just added Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine to the original coverage without increasing their individual coverage.
It is reported that ProNational recognizes Hyperbaric Medicine as a specialty.
In Canada, the Canadian Medical Protective Association, a member owned malpractice insurance plan, recognizes hyperbaric and diving medicine under the category of occupational medicine.
There you have it...this is all I have at the moment. Again, thank you to each of you who responded with information about this important topic. We now have a file here in the UHMS home office with information about medical malpractice insurance for practitioners of Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine. Because I did not receive telephone numbers or addresses for most of the companies listed above (I didn't ask for them), I suggest that a Google search will produce any information you might need concerning any of the companies listed.

Don