By Staff Writer
This is a great question and one we get asked a lot.
A Brief History
Over the past 10 to 15 years there have been probably a dozen or so insurance carriers that have provided as much as 40-60% off their physician malpractice coverage rates. That’s great news.
“A concierge doctor or direct primary care physician office visit can last as little as 30 minutes and as long as 3 hours,” says Michael Tetreault, Editor of Concierge Medicine Today (CMT) and The Direct Primary Care Journal. “When concierge medicine and direct primary care practices are lined up next to traditional medical practices or insurance/MCO based medical clinics, doctors tell us they have significantly more time to research the drugs they prescribe and up to 45-minutes to 4 hours per day to spend interacting with their Patient(s) in some cases.”
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For example, we spoke with The Cooperative of American Physicians (CAP) years ago said they have been working in the concierge physician space for quite some time. For the last 10 years (circa 2013) CAP has been tracking the benefits, losses and business practices of concierge [and direct primary care] physicians. Starting in 2013, CAP started offering discounts to concierge physicians. CAP reviewed records of concierge physicians over the past 10 years and concierge physicians have fewer claims than regular physicians – they can get up to a 45% discount.
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“When they become concierge physicians their loss experience improves [by losses, CAP means medical liability claims],” says Cindy Belcher, Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Business Development at CAP. “When one becomes a concierge physicians they [most likely] go from high volume practice to a low volume practice [have fewer patients].”
Belcher also adds that concierge doctors may have fewer claims because there is higher patient satisfaction.
Fast Forward to Present Day
The purchasing power of Doctors is a powerful thing. However, this is an individualized product.
Today, it’s difficult to say if one has a specific carrier will give you a great rate on your coverage or not … so you need to do your homework and ask around.
Heidi Moawad, MD wrote an article in Medical Economics just last year (Sept. 2019) where she writes “Buying medical malpractice insurance independently requires substantial investigation into the specifics. It is important that doctors are careful to cover all bases when making this decision. While it can be challenging, spending time looking at the details can pay off in the long run … If shopping around independently, it is important to ask questions. Does the company have a tendency to settle cases or to fight them in court? Do they have experience in specific specialties? Do they raise premiums after a doctor has settled or lost a case? All of these factors can help a physician understand the differences between companies that go beyond cost.”
Stacia Dearmin, MD, a pediatric emergency medicine physician in Akron, Ohio, who also runs Thrive: Insight, Education, Support, a company that advises doctors about reducing the stress of malpractice litigation also noted in the article, “The first step for a physician seeking to independently purchase malpractice insurance is to find a knowledgeable insurance broker who has extensive experience with the ins and outs of medical malpractice coverage.
“A strong broker can help you identify the indemnity carriers that have the most experience in your state and specialty,” Dearmin says.”
What to Look For
We found this article by Dr. Moawoad quite helpful. Click Here to Read …
Other Helpful Articles and Resources
We (CMT) cannot and do not recommend one company over another – but as an educational resource, here are a few companies and articles you may find helpful.
The decision is your own. Just remember, do your homework.