While the number of malpractice lawsuits filed annually in the United States is declining, the costs associated with these suits are increasing. Between 2009 and 2018, the average cost of a malpractice claim grew by 50%. Claims above $5 million now account for an expanding portion of all claims filed. These trends in healthcare E&O costs mean that having the right insurance is more important than ever before.
What Is Healthcare E&O Insurance?
Also called medical professional liability or malpractice insurance, medical errors and omissions policies offer protection from claims of property damage and physical and mental harm caused to patients. These policies are not only available to physicians. Insurers also provide E&O insurance for other professionals working in the medical field, such as psychologists, nurses and physical therapists.
What Is Covered?
Typically, these policies cover legal costs and any damages awarded. Claims of medical negligence usually relate to:
- Surgical errors
- Medication errors
- Delayed diagnosis
- Childbirth injuries
- Anesthesia errors
However, these policies also protect against other types of claims, including breach of privacy, HIPAA noncompliance and cybersecurity issues.
Investing in an E&O policy is vital given the surge in the costs of medical lawsuits. However, ensuring adequate coverage can be complicated. Consulting an expert in medical insurance can save both time and money.