News of the Day ... in Perspective2/1/2004
More doctors choosing to “go bare.”
According to the Florida Department of Health Statistics, more than 5% of Florida’s active physicians do not carry professional liability insurance, up from 4% a year ago. In Miami-Dade County, 20% of the doctors are “self-insured” or “bare.”
In December 2002, the AMA dropped its recommendation that physicians carry sufficient malpractice insurance to protect themselves and their patients.
Florida has particularly favorable asset protection laws; creditors can’t seize a home or annuities.
Marc Singer, of Singer Xenos Wealth Management in Coral Gables, FL, recommends that doctors first hire a bankruptcy attorney, rather than a defense attorney, if sued. “What plaintiff’s attorneys fear most in a lawsuit is bankruptcy,” he said, according to Rachel Emma Silverman (Wall St J 1/28/04).
Florida law allows physicians to practice without liability insurance as long as they are responsible for the first $250,000 of a judgment against them. If they fail to pay within 30 days of a judgment, they can lose their license. They must post a notice in their office if they are uninsured.