COVID-19 Impacts Specialists & Surgeons

The mandatory shutdown/moratorium on elective surgeries in many states, along with patient unwillingness to visit their specialist physician for ongoing and follow-up care for chronic conditions, have resulted in empty waiting rooms and cancelled surgeries.  This has created a severe cash flow crunch for surgeons and specialists.  Many practices had no option but to furlough staff and reduce their hours of operation.  In some instances, your medical malpractice insurance company will provide some relief in the form of premium suspensions or deferments.  In the case of a premium suspension, coverage is also suspended for the duration of the premium suspension, so premium suspension is not often feasible unless it is for one-member physician of a large group practice.  “I still have to take Trauma Call” advised one of our orthopedic surgeon clients—”a suspension would not work for me—but all my elective cases are cancelled until further notice.”  In this instance, the insurance company agreed to a give the surgeon a 50% part-time rating discount.  “Part-Time” is usually defined as 20 hours per week or less.  Each insurance company has addressed the shutdown in different ways, so your best option is to contact your agent for assistance.  Feel free to reach out to one of the CLS HealthCare Liability specialists, Mark or Beth at 1-866-31-8745, if you have any questions or concerns.