Medical Indemnity cover is a regulatory requirement for practitioners, but few relish gathering the information required when it comes to annual renewal or when looking for competitive quotes. Healthcode’s Fiona Booth explores the world of Medical Indemnity and how an enhancement to The Private Practice Register (PPR) can streamline the process.
Getting the right medical indemnity cover for your specialty is not just about the cost or the financial risk, but also the stress or possible reputational implications of litigation from a dissatisfied patient.
Medical indemnity cover aims to protect the practitioner if they are accused of negligence, malpractice or a breach of clinical or professional care standards, such as misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose, failure to provide a clean environment and failure to adequately train doctors and other staff.
One of the many recommendations from The Paterson Inquiry was for the Government to look at reforming the regulation of medical indemnity products and introducing a nationwide “safety net” to ensure patients are not left uncompensated.
The Department of Health and Social Care - consultation and concerns
The Department of Health and Social Care’s consultation document, ‘appropriate clinical negligence cover’, which the Government is yet to respond to, highlighted concerns over the stability of the most popular forms of indemnity cover for healthcare professionals not covered by existing or proposed state-backed schemes, i.e. those in the private sector. Currently, indemnity providers such as mutual defence organisations (MDOs) provide cover for many healthcare professionals under discretionary indemnity arrangements, usually sold as a subscription to an MDO.
Medical Indemnity requirements under MPAF
The Medical Practitioner’s Assurance Framework (MPAF) was launched by the Independent Healthcare Providers Network (IHPN), partly in response to the Paterson scandal. It has been adopted by all private hospital groups and is considered as evidence of good governance by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) as a way of meeting its ‘Well Led’ Key Line of Enquiry.
Hospitals now need to have additional information to grant and oversee practising privileges, including the mandatory requirement for practitioners to hold a valid certificate of adequate insurance cover or medical indemnity.
A Medical Indemnity quote at the click of a button via your PPR profile
Healthcode is aligning The Private Practice Register (The PPR) with the MPAF to help practitioners and hospitals fulfil their obligations without having a huge administrative burden. The PPR already records both historical and current medical indemnity policy information, allowing practitioners to demonstrate the continuation of adequate cover.
The PPR now also allows practitioners to obtain a free-of-charge competitive insurance quote at the click of a button for medical indemnity cover using data from their profile. This enhancement eliminates the need to gather relevant information and complete multiple application forms to obtain quotes. By having an up-to-date profile, practitioners can save time and resources, and potentially money spent on adequate cover. The proposal form is pre-populated using data held within the PPR profile and can be amended, checked or supplemented by updating the relevant field in the profile.
The quotation is fulfilled by Doctors’ Indemnity and Arthur J Gallagher Insurance Brokers Limited, a Lloyds’ market medical indemnity broker. Both companies are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.