Going Bare is the right option for

22nd February 2011
By Frankf in Medical Malpractice
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Due to the ever increasing cost of medical malpractice insurance, many doctors have made the decision to drop their insurance coverage. There is strong statistical evidence that "going bare" reduces the likelihood of being involved in a lawsuit. Not surprisingly, the insurance industry has increased its campaign of scare tactics in order to place physicians in fear, so as to drive them to purchase insurance. Without a doubt, insurance can be a useful form of risk spreading for many industries. However, for physicians in Florida with an average-to-clean history, going bare is the best option.

Insurance companies love "good" doctors. These physicians pay their insurance premiums and ask for nothing in return. At the end of the year, the insurance company has made a 100% profit, and when the doctor renews his coverage, another year of profits await. On the other end, the insurance companies are reducing reimbursements and denying medical claims for the labor which you have already done. Simply put, your practice is controlled on both ends by the insurance industry.

If you were to get sued, the decision to settle and defend your good name is not yours. Your years of schooling and residency will play no role. Rather, it will be the decision of an insurance adjuster who received his license after an eighty (80) hour class. Whether the insurance company will lose money or not will be the deciding factor. Whether you practiced within the standard of care will always be secondary.

Going bare creates peace of mind. Not only do you keep the premium dollars in your pocket by going bare, but you keep the power to control your case and your reputation. If you are a good doctor who is rarely involved in lawsuits, then you will be saving hundreds of thousands of dollars, maybe millions, over the course of your career in premium savings. Instead of putting those hard earned dollars in the insurance company coffers, you can save for you and your family's future. In the event you are sued, you can always choose to settle. However, if you are confronted with a frivolous lawsuit, then you can decide to defend your good name. With the insurance company, you are just a number.

Plaintiff's attorneys do not want to sue a doctor with no insurance. If these attorneys win, then they need to become collection attorneys to recover any money. It is much easier to collect from the deep pocket insurance companies. Insurance is the bounty these attorneys seek. Finally, with asset protection strategies so prevalent and successful in Florida, any threat from a judgment can be minimized.

Mark L. Rosen, Esquire is a partner at the law firm of Lubell & Rosen. Mr. Rosen is Board Certified in Health Law by the Florida Bar and primarily practices in the area of medical malpractice defense. Mr. Rosen can be contacted at http://www.doctordefense.com.
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