With your OneGroup experts
As a medical practice, you are experiencing an increased number of challenges every day. In addition to compliance requirements, you have to manage HR and staffing, insurance and benefit costs, cyber-attacks, malpractice coverage, and a host of other issues. Having a partner that is truly your advocate in these areas is more important than ever, and finding one with expertise in your industry is not always easy.
Our OneGroup team has the industry knowledge and experience to help address your challenges, and to navigate some major developments affecting medical practices today and into the future, including:
Grieving Families Act
This bill is designed to give families who have lost a loved one to a wrongful death the ability to pursue damages for not only financial loss, but emotional loss as well. In its current form, the bill would extend the time allowed to bring a wrongful death claim, thus extending the existing Statute of Limitations. It is a critical piece of pending legislation in New York State, which was previously vetoed by Governor Hochul back in January, but now has a good chance of being signed into law this year based on modifications to the original bill. The modified version has passed both NYS Chambers again and will be headed to the Governor’s desk. If signed, malpractice insurance carriers are predicting a rise in malpractice premiums in New York State of up to 20% or more.
The size of jury verdicts in malpractice claims has continued to skyrocket. There is a general feeling that the public has lost sight of the value of a dollar, and juries are awarding claims that dwarf what we have seen in the recent past. Awards over $10 million are now referred to as “nuclear” verdicts, and NYS ranks third nationwide for the most nuclear verdicts. While such large awards are not necessarily new, the frequency and dollar amount of the awards are setting records. This unsettling trend puts even more importance on controlling costs by mitigating exposures through aggressive risk management.
Private Equity Investments
Private equity (PE) and hedge funds are not only investing in medical practices, they are also financing malpractice lawsuits as a way of increasing their revenue. This move has resulted in billions of dollars flowing into the field, and is used in many areas, such as buying advertising, finding and recruiting claimants, paying for expenses in litigation, and more. This can result in a huge return on investment for private equity funds, and substantial reduction of a claimant’s percentage of the award. Many are questioning whether attorneys will act in the best interest of the claimant or the private equity investors. This has resulted in attorneys seeking quick settlements rather than risking prolonged trials, contributing to higher jury awards.
How These Developments Affect Malpractice Premiums and Your Renewals
As you can imagine, all the scenarios above contribute to insurance carriers looking to get more rate for their malpractice policies. Last year in NYS, providers typically saw between a 10-15% rate increase, even with a favorable loss history. Some territories and specialties were hit even harder than others. The need to work with an experienced broker in this area is now more important than ever.
An insurance carrier is going to look out for its bottom line, while a broker will focus on what is best for you and your practice. As we know, almost every expense a practice incurs is increasing in cost, so it is critical to help contain this major spend.
We encourage you to talk with your broker to review current coverage, evaluate alternative policy options, and explore other creative ways to control this large expense. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have. For more information, please feel free to contact a member of our expert healthcare team below:
Senior Vice President Health Care & Business Specialist
P 315-413-4407 | C 315-708-3635 | F 315-457-7902
Business Insurance Account Executive
P 518-952-7977 | C 518-698-9997
Business Risk Specialist
This content is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing professional, financial, medical or legal advice. You should contact your licensed professional to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Please refer to your policy contract for any specific information or questions on applicability of coverage.
Please note coverage can not be bound or a claim reported without written acknowledgment from a OneGroup Representative.