Norcal Mutual Advocates Early Reporting of Medical Malpractice Insurance Claims
Norcal Mutual Insurance Company recently stressed its position of early claim reporting by its medical malpractice insureds. “NORCAL Mutual continually stresses that there is no penalty for early reporting of incidents. Early reporting means we can put the insured at ease and confirm that the matter is covered. Equally important, it means we can help insureds avoid making the situation worse by, for example, making additions to the medical record or giving the record to the wrong party.”
From Norcal’s point of view early reporting of medical incidents by physicians and surgeons seems to make sense. And certainly its important not to alter the medical record inappropriately or incorrectly (and ESPECIALLY if there is a possible claim brewing). However, from a physicians or surgeons point of view, early reporting can have a negative impact on the claims history report. Every incident reported to Norcal Mutual Insurance Company is reflected in the claim history of the reporting physician insured. This claim history report is traditionally provided to hospitals, managed care organizations, insurance companies, surgery centers, IPAs, etc. ). The Doctors Company and Medical Protective (other leading writers of medical malpractice insurance for physicians and surgeons) have virtually the same approach of encouraging early reporting of medical incidents. Check your individual policies to determine the exact reporting requirements and if in doubt contact your carrier claim’s department and determine how to proceed. Every policy is different so its vital to understand your obligations in reporting incidents and/or claims.