We thought it was all over… we all moved on into our new residencies. Then we got hit with this eMail:
Dear Former Residents,
I am sending this email broadly and it is only relevant to residents who worked at Hahnemann for ANY period of time between January 11, 2018 through August 6, 2019. Please read this email carefully.
Some of you may have received notification from PAHS that they will not be purchasing something called “tail” malpractice insurance for any of their employees. This is a significant issue.
PAHS employees were covered by the Philadelphia Academic Risk Retention Group (PARRG) with a Claims Made (CM) policy. A CM policy covers you for claims when the event occurs and the claim is made, as long as you are still employed. When you leave an employer and are covered by a claims made policy, you need to have tail coverage. Tail coverage basically converts your CM policy to an occurrence policy. This means the policy will cover you for any claim related to care while you were employed, no matter when the claim is made.
After 1/10/20, there will be no tail coverage available for the period of your residency at Hahnemann from 1/11/18 through the date you graduated, left, or the program closed. For example, if a claim is filed for malpractice and the allegation is related to care while you were employed on 4/1/19, and it is filed on 12/1/19, then the PARRG will provide tail coverage. However, if that same claim for alleged malpractice on 4/1/19 is filed on 2/1/20, you will not have insurance coverage to protect your interests. You will also have to pay for an attorney to defend you against the claim.
Without tail insurance, individuals are open to significant personal liability. Furthermore, Pennsylvania requires individuals to carry tail malpractice insurance from all of their previous employers in order to qualify for supplemental malpractice coverage called Mcare. Individuals who do not acquire tail malpractice within 120 days of lapsed coverage do not qualify for Mcare coverage going forward even though the premium was paid. Lastly, many states and employers require you to have tail malpractice insurance from all of your previous employers.
This entire situation is problematic for health care providers who will not have coverage and patients who may have a reason for compensation.
The PAHS insurance will lapse on January 10, 2020. There are multiple things going on to try to help rectify this situation, but I am not optimistic about any of them. The bankruptcy court is reviewing a brief that was filed in order to try to compel the owners to purchase the insurance. I have contacted our representative in Congress Dwight Evans who is reviewing the issue. We have also been in contact with several insurance brokers in order to get a competitive price for people to purchase the insurance either as a group or on their own. Multiple organizations (ACGME, ECFMG, AMA, Philadelphia County Medical Society etc) will be on a conference call this week to discuss options.
The cost of purchasing tail malpractice insurance depends on your specialty and the amount of time being covered. Some of you (2019 interns) will only need coverage for 2 weeks or so. Others will need the entire period covered. Note that Tenet purchased occurrence insurance for the time period prior to January 11, 2018, so you will not need tail for any time before 1/11/18. The cost will vary widely and could be several thousand dollars.
I wanted you to know about this now because you may see reports in the media about this. Please know that we are working on clarifying all of this information and clarifying a clear option for all of you to take. You will also be receiving an official communication from Linda Ramsey regarding this. Her email will include some very important details – so please look out for that.
Harold Brubaker of the Philadelphia Inquirer, who has reported on many issues that have surrounded the closure of Hahnemann, is interested in hearing from you about this. I think it is important for the public to know about what is going on and encourage anyone who feels comfortable, to reach out to him. His email is: *
I also would encourage you to reach out to Congressman Dwight Evans: *
You should use Hahnemann’s zipcode: 19102
In regards to next steps, you will hear from me or someone else at Drexel in the next 1-2 weeks with an update. If nothing pans out with the courts or other means, we will include suggestions regarding purchasing tail malpractice insurance yourself (you may also ask your current employer to purchase it). At least one of the brokers with whom we have been talking has guaranteed that if AAHS ends up paying for this, they will refund anything paid to them from individuals.
I honestly thought all of the craziness was over, but alas, the challenges continue. I will continue to advocate on your behalves and try to find the best path to take. Stay tuned and check your email.
I don't understand how an institution such as Drexel can train residents without providing them adequate liability insurance for their training. The ACGME agrees with me
From the ACGME Institutional Requirements:
The Sponsoring Institution must provide residents/fellows with professional liability coverage, including legal defense and protection against awards from claims reported or filed during participation in each of its ACGME-accredited programs, or after completion of the program(s) if the alleged acts or omissions of a resident/fellow are within the scope of the program(s).
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