Former Hahnemann and St. Christopher trainees and attending that received their medical professional liability insurance through the Philadelphia Academic Risk Retention Group, LLC (PA RRG) and that are insured with claims-made coverage are being notified that their medical professional liability insurance coverage will end Jan. 10, 2020.
Due to the bankruptcy, the owners of Hahnemann and St. Christopher hospitals, Philadelphia Academic Health System, LLC, (PAHS) will not uphold their contractual obligation to purchase tail malpractice insurance upon termination of the claims-made policy. As a result, HUH attending and training physicians (including residents and fellows), employed between Jan. 10, 2018 and Aug. 6, 2019 are at risk for not having insurance coverage for this time period. Tower-Drexel will provide medical malpractice tail coverage for trainees and attending who are employed at the time that Tower-Drexel takes ownership of the hospital.
The potential gap in coverage poses a significant risk. A lapse in coverage could leave these residents and fellows or attending exposed to uninsured malpractice claims, personal liability, and the risk of adverse action from medical licensing boards. And, unfortunately, the cost to purchase tail insurance is prohibitive for most of them.
PCMS recently held a conference call with national and statewide associations such as the PAMED, AMA, AAMC, and ECFMG to discuss how to best assist the more than 1100 physicians that will be impacted if a solution is not found very soon. There are presently 560 residents affected by the closing and another 400 who had previously trained with Hahnemann during the time period; along with another 59 residents affected by the sale of St. Christopher’s Hospital.
Recently, the Pennsylvania Professional Liability Joint Underwriting Association (JUA) sent a letter to Jessica K. Altman, the Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner, concerning this time-sensitive public health crisis. The JUA plan is to draw on a portion of its surplus to fund up to 50% of the cost of tail coverage for these trainees and 10% for the attending who have been displaced and left without tail coverage as a result of the bankruptcy. The JUA action will need state government approval. Stay tuned and please let us know your thoughts on this using the form below.