Types of Malpractice Insurance for Nurse Practitioners, Physician’s Assistants and Allied Health Care Professionals
Posted in: Commercial Insurance
The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine reported in May 2013 that 50 percent of U.S. doctors now report employing nurse practitioners, physician’s assistants, or certified nurse midwives as part of their medical teams.
To date, the main reason for the shift toward more nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants has been simple: they cost less to employ than doctors.
A report from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) showed that although patients still ultimately preferred their physicians for primary health care, they were willing to be seen by physician’s assistants or nurse practitioners if it meant more timely access to care. Plus, the AAMC noted in September 2012 that the nation’s physician shortage could reach 90,000 by 2020 – yet another factor in the growing role of nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants.
Now, as the Affordable Care Act kicks in, potentially millions of Americans will be required to join the ranks of the insured, driving demand for primary health care even higher. Increasing numbers of allied health care professionals are likely to help bridge the gap. With this increase, of course, comes an inherent risk.
Years of Schooling vs. Liability
We have decades of data on medical malpractice lawsuits filed against doctors. Because nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants in large numbers are still comparatively new in the health care system, there is little data to measure against their risk of exposure to malpractice suits.