The harsh reality for many New York City hospitals is that they are either totally or partially uninsured for malpractice. Hospital execs claim that their lack of coverage is due to the fact that the premiums are extremely high (millions of dollars per year) and the hospitals’ finances are simply so abysmal that it would not be feasible to carry such insurance. Still, not having what is viewed as a normal safeguard for patients is quite troubling for many.
Some area hospitals have actually set aside funds on their own to cover their liabilities (such as Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, and Interfaith Medical Center); however, other facilities have already exhausted their malpractice coffers, which means that any awards or settlements made in the future could come at the expense of the care of the patients.
Malpractice Insurance Isn’t “Required”
In general, New York hospitals don’t necessarily have to carry malpractice insurance in order to function, and in fact, a lot of states don’t require it. But, New York is the only city that has hospitals without coverage.
The Partially Insured
Surveys and studies that were done by the Health Department and Consumer Reports have shown that there are several hospitals throughout the city that are (or were) partially-insured, to include the now-closed St. Vincent’s Hospital in Manhattan, New York Hospital Queens, Lenox Hill in Manhattan, and Jamaica Hospital Medical Center in Queens. The partially-insured hospitals maintained a certain level of coverage for what they refer to as “primary” claims; but, they did not include amounts for excess judgments, or vice versa. In any event, the decision to go without sufficient coverage can prove to be quite expensive for both the facilities and the patients alike.
If you or someone you love has been the victim of a personal injury or accident, please contact Gersowitz, Libo & Korek, P.C. personal injury lawyers serving injured victims in New York and New Jersey at 800-LAW-9997.