Professional Liability Insurance News & Information

Doctor shortage could lead to malpractice

Mar 5


3/5/2013 5:54 AM  RssIcon

The U.S. doctor shortage could lead to more malpractice claims.
The U.S. doctor shortage could lead to more malpractice claims.
In recent years, the United States has experienced a doctor shortage. This has had many negative ramifications and could potentially increase the amount of malpractice claims filed against doctors. 

With so few doctors available, they are forced to take on more and more work. As the workload begins to increase, the chance to commit an error could rise, which may lead to more malpractice lawsuits. 

According to Bloomberg, people in Las Vegas, a city with about 2 million residents, had to wait as long as six months just to see a primary care physician for a simple check up back in October. To get an appointment with a neurologist who specializes in autism people had to wait more than a year. 

Within 12 years, the Association of American Medical Colleges said the shortage, which is currently more than 13,000 doctors, could be as high as 130,000. One of the possible reasons behind this is the millions more people who will be insured under the Affordable Care Act. The ACA is expected to be fully implemented by early 2014 and after that around 30 million more people will have health insurance. 

As doctors begin to see their workloads increase, there has never been a more important time to ensure they have the proper insurance protection. Professional liability insurance can help provide them with financial assistance in the event of a malpractice lawsuit. Court and legal fees as well as settlement and judgment costs can be covered. Also, legal defense can be obtained though the insurance policy. 

Most healthcare providers offer employees some sort of protection, but this is often not adequate, which should lead doctors to consider individual policies. 

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