New company comes to aid of doctors
Novant’s New Star will offer them better control of malpractice-insurance premiums
By M. Paul Jackson
Novant Health said yesterday that it has formed a medical-malpractice-insurance company to help its physicians better control their medical-malpractice premiums.
The company, New Star Inc., will be based in Winston-Salem and will serve Novantâ€™s doctors in North Carolina and South Carolina. Novantâ€™s 691 doctors have joined the New Star group, officials said.
New Star will help provide insurance discounts for Novantâ€™s physicians. The hospital system said it decided to form the company in response to doctorsâ€™ complaints about their insurance bills.
â€œAssembling physicians with similar philosophies of quality patient care and safety under one insured umbrella is an idea whose time has come,â€? said Dr. Elms Allen, the executive vice president of medical-staff services at Forsyth Medical Center.
Novant is based in Winston-Salem and operates Forsyth Medical Center, Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte and Brunswick Community Hospital in Supply.
Medical-malpractice insurance typically covers physicians for liability claims filed against them by patients and attorneys.
More doctors – particularly those who perform high-risk surgeries – are complaining about sharply rising medical-malpractice insurance premiums. Nationally, doctorsâ€™ malpractice-insurance premiums are increasing an average of 15 percent a year, nearly twice as much as total health-care spending per person, according to Novant officials.
Some specialists surveyed by Novant reported paying more than $50,000 a year in insurance premiums.
â€œSince we have the infrastructure in place to help manage malpractice risks with our practicing physicians, it was a logical step for us and part of our continuous emphasis on quality improvement throughout the Novant Health system,â€? said Paul Wiles, the president of Novant.