When it comes to a patient's health, diagnosis and his/her response to the treatment cannot be 100% predetermined. The law of measurements and man-made concepts do not apply in medical cases, rather it is the law of nature that is applicable. Medical practitioners also cannot give 100% accurate diagnosis in each and every case. Even if the diagnosis of the physician is totally accurate, luck and destiny often influence the scenario. For example, a person diagnosed with flu is given treatment that is effective and which works wonders for him for a certain period of time. However, the person suddenly stops responding to the medications, if he has been inflected with some other microbe and starts complaining about it. In such a situation, or situations that are similar to the one described above, the patient may sue the medical practitioner for damages. The insurance policy that comes in to rescue the medical practitioner out of this situation is termed as medical malpractice insurance. Costs of such a policy have been a point of debate among many insurance companies, claimers, and practitioners themselves.
Medical Malpractice Insurance Cost
The insurance policy for medical malpractice is basically purchased by medical practitioners or health care providers from an insurance company. In some states, purchasing such a policy is a mandatory measure and is imposed by the state government. The cost of the policy, in most scenarios, is quoted on the nature of work the medical practitioner is engaged in. The simple logic that is followed is that more complex the job of the practitioner, the more costly is the policy and premium, and vice versa. With the help of surveys conducted by various medical associations and the United States General Accounting Office, it was observed that the cost to insure medical liabilities, malpractices, and accidents went up as high as USD 200,000, and showed an upward projection. It must be noted that this price among the higher insurance coverage brackets. The insurance costs differs drastically from state to state and also depends on the laws
of the state in which the medical practitioner is practicing. In some cases, practitioners have to opt for more than one type of coverage as they practice in more than one place. This practice is usually followed by medical specialists such as neurosurgeons, who travel the length and breadth of the country to treat their patients. Surveys of medical associations have also pointed out the fact that opting for a particular insurance company providing the coverage also influences the cost.
After the cost of medical malpractice insurance is paid by the practitioners, the insurance company takes care of complaints of medial malpractice and related cases that have been filed against the practitioner. The company pays the injured party appropriate compensation, either on the court's recommendation, or on their own examinations. In case of a medial malpractice claim lodged with the court, the damages claimed by the plaintiff of the case are broadly classified into compensatory damages or punitive damages. Compensatory damages are compensated for by the insurance company, as they are concerned with the medical billing and claims. The damages are evaluated by examining concrete and comprehensive medical records. However, in case of punitive damages, the liability of the insurance company and the practitioner is dictated by the court. The damages are considered as punitive damages if they are found to be caused as a result of the recklessness, negligence, criminal acts, or intentional negligence on the behalf of the medical practitioners. Such actions at most of the time are considered illegal.
It can, thus, be concluded without doubt that average cost of medical malpractice insurance is inflating. Within the period of one year (2002 to 2003), for example, most insurance cost against medical malpractice skyrocketed by about 50%. Some premiums that initially amounted to USD 50,000 touched USD 200,000 to USD 300,000. It must be noted that figures used to denote the malpractice insurance cost, throughout the article, are averaged out figures from the generalized brackets. For more accurate and current figures and quotes, it is advisable to approach appropriate insurance companies.