The legal concept of medical malpractice lawsuits isn’t just limited to the conduct of doctors, but applies also to nurse practitioners, physical therapists, surgical tech’s, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, just about anybody that provides health care services. When it comes to medical malpractice actions, hospitals can be held liable for both their own negligence and that of their employees.
A hospital’s medical personnel consists of licensed physicians, physician’s assistants and many other health care providers and when the hospital hires them they are expected to make inquiries into the applicant’s education, training, experience and licensing. If a hospital neglects to make acceptable inquiries they can in many cases be held liable for negligent retention or supervision if the employee’s culpable care causes injury to a patient.
When it comes to a nurse practitioner’s malpractice suit a good example would be the story of a woman who received prenatal care from a nurse practitioner at a health care clinic who ended up giving birth to a child that had macrosomia (associated with birth trauma) causing the child to sustain a brachial plexus injury, a clawed hand and right arm palsy during treatment. In this case both the doctor and nurse practitioner were found liable.
Many people assume that it is typically hospitals or surgeons that need medical malpractice insurance and while that is certainly true when it comes to highly specialized surgeons and hospitals need it, there are several others who need protection as well against malpractice lawsuits. Whether they’re surgeons with a number of advanced degrees in a metropolitan city, nurse practitioners, or surgical tech’s and physical therapists in a small town, having sufficient level medical malpractice insurance is the only way to protect themselves from a financial catastrophe in the event that they get sued. Any type of healthcare facility should have group malpractice insurance.
Every physician is responsible for their own negligence, so even if they’re protected under an umbrella malpractice insurance policy that insures their employer, they can still be held responsible for any negligence that was a direct result of their personal actions. In addition, the doctor might have to compensate their employer if the employer’s insurance ends up having to pay a claim. There’s also always a change that the employer might try to divide the case against the practice from that of the doctors, leaving the doctor to defend themselves through their personal medical malpractice insurance.
The American Medical Association has estimated that by 2025, there will be a deficiency of as many as 40,000 primary care physicians and other’s are saying that it could quadruple by 2015. Expected shortages are said to affect specialty physicians in sectors that include emergency medicine, cardiology, oncology and more. While there are several factors that will bring this about, the increase in medical malpractice lawsuits over the last few years plays a big part in it. Because of the shortage and ever changing medical staffing issues, having good medical malpractice insurance coverage is even more important.