The Naked Truth Part 2: Medical malpractice insurance -A Simple Word Game
West palm beach medical malpractice lawyers new source. – Justice News Flash – Many doctors practicing in Florida are not carrying medical malpractice insurance and the law does not require them to be covered. My shock to the news, doctors practicing in the state of Florida are not required to carry individual medical malpractice insurance policies, would not subside. I couldn’t stop asking the question, “How can this be? I must be missing something. This is too crazy to be true.” I was then informed, “They don’t have to carry individual medical malpractice insurance, but they are required to post a bond. So, technically, they are still insured.”
Whew! The relief came. It’s a simple word game. Medical malpractice insurance exists. We are safe.
This revelation and relief occurred over time, while practicing nursing in the state of Florida. Although, the Florida Department of Health (DOH) also licenses me, I was completely unaware of this dilemma. It has taken me five years to discover the remaining piece of the puzzle.
The actuality is doctors are even exempt from posting a bond, under certain circumstances. In Florida, doctors merely have to promise to pay, either the amount of a judgment, or $100,000 whichever is the lesser. When a doctor elects to practice ‘naked’, the DOH only requires the doctor to display a declaration, of the physician’s financial responsibility, as posted, on the Florida Board of Health website. http://ww2.doh.state.fl.us
“I have elected not to carry medical malpractice insurance, however, I agree to satisfy any adverse judgments [sic] up to the minimum amounts pursuant to s. 458.320(5)(g) 1 or 459.0085(5)(g)1, F. S. I understand that I must either post notice in the form of a “sign” prominently displayed in the reception area or provide a written statement to any person to whom medical services are being provided that I have decided not to carry medical malpractice insurance. I understand that such a sign or notice must contain the wording specified in s. 458.320(5)(g) or 459.0085(5)(g), F. S.”
What did I understand this to mean when I first read this statement? Simple, they agree to their financial responsibility. If they make an error, they still have to pay. This makes perfect sense. No problem. Doctors earn plenty of money. Doctors have plenty of money.
No posting of a bond, but they agree to a “financial responsibility”; another simple word game.
Then you find yourself the victim of a doctor’s negligence. This is where the gray area grows exponentially.
Heather L. Ryan, R.N., C.L.N.C. — Assisting South Florida medical malpractice Attorneys, Justice News Flash