As of October 1, 2017, Maryland physicians who choose not to obtain medical malpractice insurance for claims of medical negligence made against them are required to notify each patient in writing at the time of the patient’s first visit and as part of obtaining the patient’s informed consent for any procedure or surgery that he/she does not have medical malpractice insurance. Maryland physicians are also required to conspicuously post the lack of medical malpractice insurance coverage in his/her place of practice. At least five states (Alaska, Florida, Montana, Ohio, and Oregon) require physicians or similar providers to notify a patient if they do not have medical malpractice liability insurance.
Nonetheless, Maryland physicians are required to carry medical professional liability insurance limits of $1 million per occurrence or claim and $3 million per annual aggregate in order to obtain hospital credentialing and to participate in health plans in Maryland. At least seven states (Colorado, Connecticut, Kansas, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin) require physicians to carry minimum levels of medical professional liability insurance, ranging from $100,000 to $1 million per occurrence and $300,000 to $3 million per annual aggregate. At least another seven states (Indiana, Louisiana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, and Wyoming) require physicians to carry minimum levels of coverage to qualify for state liability reforms, including caps on damages or patient compensation funds.
Maryland’s new law is MD Code, Health Occupations, § 14-508 (“Lack of medical professional liability insurance; notice requirements”) and provides:
(a) Each licensee practicing medicine in the State shall notify a patient in writing if:
(1) The licensee does not maintain medical professional liability insurance coverage; or
(2) The licensee’s medical professional liability insurance coverage has lapsed for any period of time and the licensee’s coverage has not been renewed.
Requirements of written notification
(b) The written notification provided to the patient under subsection (a) of this section must be:
(i) At the first visit by the patient during any period in which the licensee does not maintain medical professional liability insurance, unless the visit is for the purpose of receiving incidental medical care that will be rendered free of charge; and
(ii) As part of each informed consent obtained before any procedure or operation discussed or offered for the patient’s consideration is performed;
(2) Signed by the patient at the time of the patient’s visit or the informed consent is signed; and
(3) Retained by the licensee as part of the licensee’s patient records.
Posting of information
(c) Each licensee practicing medicine in the State who does not maintain medical professional liability insurance coverage shall post this information in a conspicuous location in the licensee’s place of practice.
If you or a family member have been injured as a result of medical malpractice in Maryland, you should promptly consult with a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer who may investigate your Maryland medical malpractice claim for you and represent you or your family member in a Maryland medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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