ANSWER: YES, IT IS IMPORTANT TO PROTECT YOU AND YOUR ASSETS AS A physician assistant BECAUSE YOU MAY GET SUED AT ANY GIVEN POINT IN YOUR CAREER.*
According to the Healthcare Providers Service Organization, here are some reasons and misconceptions for getting physician assistants malpractice insurance:
Physician assistants require a unique coverage plan due to working close with physicians. Due to this, physician assistants are usually associated with physicians who are hit with a lawsuit, and even a mention in a case can affect the reputation and career of a physician assistant.
1. I already have professional liability insurance through my doctor or hospital.
Many physician assistants believe that their employer’s will cover their careers and assets when named in a malpractice lawsuit, realizing too late that it’s not the case for every physician assistant. Employer’s have insurance to protect themselves first and foremost, which in many cases, will not be able to fully defend their employees. Coverage varies depending on how many defendants there are and also may not include off-duty incidents, or other situations that may null the coverage. Most times, coverage doesn’t cover defense of a license complaint.
2. If I carry my own individual policy, then I become a target for lawsuits.
Having physician assistant’s insurance is not public information that your insurer can share without your written permission, and plaintiffs’ attorneys will not know the status of your physician assistants insurance status when they include your name in the lawsuit. They will only discover your status when you reach the discovery phase of the trial, which will be far after the point where you’ve been named in the lawsuit and require protection.
*This information is a guide only, it is not legal or financial advice. Always do due diligence to ensure you are not breaking the law.