Family Medicine Malpractice Insurance

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Understanding family medicine malpractice insurance.

On average, a family physician must face a malpractice suit about once every seven to ten years. Good risk management techniques can help to minimize the chance of being sued and make a family care physician’s case more defensible if he must go to court. In family practice, the five areas in which suits are most common are all diagnostic errors. A study from the Physician Insurers Association of American (PIAA) lists these five common misdiagnoses as myocardial infarction, breast cancer, appendicitis, lung cancer and colon cancer. The most common single reason for a suit against a family physician is the mishandling of a diagnosis of myocardial infarction. In order to minimize risk, doctors should fully document all actions taken in the treatment process, including advice given to patients and the processes behind diagnoses. Some experts also recommend asking patients to write out their complaint each time they have an appointment, so that there can be no confusion later. Doctors should take care to make notes legible, and never alter notes if a claim is made.

In addition to maintaining full and thorough documentation, evidence shows that a physician’s risk of being sued for malpractice can be diminished by maintaining a good relationship with patients and cultivating a compassionate, personal bedside manner. This advice is particularly germane to family practice, where the specialty is based on the personal care of the whole patient.

How much does family medicine malpractice insurance cost?

Medical malpractice insurance premiums for family practice physicians vary markedly based on the location and focus of the practice. Florida and Illinois are two states in which Family Physicians pay the most for their med-mal ins., sometimes $30,000 or higher for a mature, claims-made policy. In less litigious states like Minnesota, premiums can be $3,000 or less. Texas and California tend to have lower premiums, where strong, tested tort reforms like limits on noneconomic damages in malpractice cases have been enacted. Premiums are much higher for family physicians that practice invasive procedures or do some obstetrics in their practice than for those who do not. In today’s hostile malpractice climate, many doctors who once included obstetrics as part of their practice have eliminated such procedures in order to lower their liability insurance premiums.

Family physicians who want to reduce their medical malpractice insurance premiums should support tort reform efforts. The American Academy of Family Physicians, an important specialty organization, advances a position of reform that includes limits on noneconomic damages in malpractice cases, limiting attorneys’ fees, reducing statutes of limitations and incentives for alternative case resolution methods.

Dig deeper into how much medical malpractice insurance costs.

Why family medicine physicians choose Cunningham Group

Family medicine physicians choose Cunningham Group because we are one of the few medical malpractice insurance agencies that take the time to understanding of your specific employment situation. We will work with the major insurance carriers in your state to find you a policy that meets your specific needs. And, by shopping you to all of the major carriers, we can also make certain you pay the lowest cost for your professional liability coverage needs.

During the insurance application process, be sure to ask your med mal insurance agent about any discounts you may be eligible for. Are you “new to practice?” Are you working less than full-time? Are you interested in taking online risk management courses offered by the insurance company to lower your rates? Cunningham Group has helped thousands of family medicine physicians maximize their savings.

Does it cost you extra to work with a malpractice insurance agent or broker?

Our service costs you nothing. In the medical malpractice insurance industry, agent commissions are already built into your premium. You pay the same amount for coverage whether you use an agent or purchase directly from the insurance company. Let us be your advocate. Request your free medical malpractice insurance quote now.

The Ultimate Medical Malpractice Insurance Guide

We’ve created the ultimate medical malpractice insurance guide for doctors that can answer almost any question you may have — either before you buy or while you have an active policy. This guide applies to all healthcare professionals in every state.