Liability Insurance for Practitioners Exclusively Working in the SNF Setting

As a semi-retired physician who spent the last 15 years of his career working exclusively in the SNF and CCRC (Continuing Care Retirement Community) settings of care, I was aware that some of my colleagues had trouble finding Medical Liability coverage and when they did so, the annual premium was almost twice my rate.  I believe NORCAL, my insurer, gave me favorable coverage, because I was part of a large multispecialty group. This difficulty finding affordable coverage began after California passed Elder Abuse Legislation that changed allegations from malpractice to civil tort, which has a much higher financial risk.

Recently, the problem of acquiring liability coverage became more personal, since an internist I had recruited for a facility with a SNF and ALF, was declined coverage by both NORCAL and Doctors companies, though this physician was a seasoned internist without prior claims.  In response to that news, I reached out to Alex Bardakh, Director of Public Policy and Advocacy at AMDA as well as my colleagues and friends at CALTCM and was told to try the Cooperative of American Physicians Inc. (CAP) ( ).  A friend and colleague in Sacramento had this coverage, reviewed this physician’s impressive CV, and recommended them to CAP.  Within 1 week of application, coverage was extended to my colleague at an affordable rate.  

In my community, the number of physicians capable and willing to practice in the SNF setting has dramatically declined with the growth of local foundations.  These foundations are focused on outpatient care and apart from Kaiser, haven’t yet provided a team of dedicated providers to care for our SNF patients.  

I’m glad that my colleague was able to find coverage that would allow this physician to take this position, rather than first joining a foundation that likely wouldn’t allow her to focus exclusively on this new position as well as delay the start date by 3-4 months for necessary credentialing.  

I suspect some of you have dealt with this problem as well.  If you have found other insurance companies that provide this coverage to SNF dedicated groups or solo practitioners, please provide details in the below blog.

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