Will my malpractice insurance cover me if I start doing rounds in a local nursing home?

  • -

 By: Matt Gracey

The claims exposure for doctors going into nursing homes is much higher than for their normal practice, so most malpractice insurance policies specifically exclude coverage for this exposure. Exceptions are sometimes made in the policy to cover you going into nursing homes specifically to see your own patients, and for very limited practice in nursing homes. My best advice is to ask your insurer if you are covered. If you are not, then you can ask for an endorsement or letter from them allowing for coverage of some limited nursing-home practice. Coverage for duties as a medical director of a nursing home is almost always specifically excluded in individual malpractice insurance policies, but separate stand-alone coverage is readily available from a few specific insurers. You might also check with the nursing homes themselves to see if their corporate policy, if they have one, will extend coverage for your medical directorship activities, which they sometimes will. Many Florida nursing homes have no malpractice insurance coverage at all, or very inadequate coverage, so doctors venturing into nursing homes run the risk of their insurance policy making them the unenviable “deep pocket” when claims arise.