Pediatricians leaving medical practice for whatever reason must make sure they have no gaps in their past malpractice coverage. Remember it is possible for them to be named in future claims for services provided prior to leaving medicine.
While many medical malpractice insurers provide free tail insurance to pediatricians who retire completely from the practice of medicine and have been with that company for a minimum number of years at the time of retirement, this may not be an option for all those closing a practice. If this is not available, pediatricians leaving clinical practice will need to purchase tail coverage upon cancelling their current claims-made policy. Typically, this does not apply to pediatricians who have continuously been insured under an occurrence policy throughout their careers.
Some medical liability insurers waive the premium for tail coverage in the event of the insured's death while his/her policy is in force. Similar arrangements may apply if the insured pediatrician is permanently and totally disabled while the medical liability policy is in force.
Contact the medical malpractice insurer for more information about the process involved in acquiring tail coverage. Appropriate and adequate medical liability insurance coverage is essential even after the pediatrician leaves practice. Malpractice suits are often filed many years after the incident.
Closing a pediatric practice is always difficult. But the difficulty and stress can be ameliorated with advance planning and solid business practices.
For more information:
American Academy of Pediatrics