Health centers around the country have saved about $88 million a year in malpractice insurance costs through no-cost coverage provided under the Federal Torts Claims Act.
To help cover judgments, $5 million is routed each year from health center appropriations into the FTCA judgment fund.
Survival of the FTCA program depends on the good faith of health centers in the fair and efficient appraisal of claims. Strong risk management and quality assurance efforts by health centers will help control claims and judgments.
Growing participation in the FTCA program has increased pressure on the judgment fund, pointing to two needs: expansion of the judgment fund; and increased communications between centers and the Bureau of Primary Care to ensure both an efficient claims process, and claims reduction through optimal patient care practices.
The NACHC helps health centers by providing:
• Liaison with BPHC Office of Risk Management
• Malpractice Risk Management Training through ProNational Insurance Co.
• Risk Management Hotline (ProNational Insurance Co.)
• Legal analysis as appropriate, FTCA Issue briefs/handbooks
• FTCA Telephone consultation
• FTCA Case Work
• Conference sessions
• Articles in NACHC’s Community Health Forum magazine
ProNational Insurance Company also provides much-appreciated on-site assessments of at-risk health centers.
NACHC’s staff and counsel have been working with the BPHC to clarify “direct provider billing” for health center services, which could have eroded health center confidence in FTCA coverage and cost them significant amounts for gap insurance, especially in the expensive area of obstetrics.
For additional information, consult these publications:
- FTCA: Clarification Of Direct Provider Billing Policy Issue Brief #18, Systems Development Series, August 2001. Download a free copy in this web site’s Publications & Resources page.
- Beyond FTCA: Purchasing Insurance Coverage to Protect Your Health Center from Liabilities -- Risk Management Series #16. To download a free copy, go to our Publications & Resources page