AwptimusPrime

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I know the big pharmacy chains provides pharmacists with liability insurance, but I have heard it is a good idea to carry your own individual liability insurance as well.

Do you currently carry individual liability insurance? If so, what carrier do you recommend? I have heard of HPSO and PharmMutual...both of which seem to offer similar plans.

Appreciate any feedback.
 
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BidingMyTime

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I use HSPO, I have no complaints about them, I've never tried anyone else, so can't really compare them to another company. Personally, yes, I think every pharmacist should have their own policy for a myriad of reasons.
 

confettiflyer

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Generally a waste of money, discussed extensively on another thread. There's a actuarial reason it's so cheap, think about that for a moment.


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npage148

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It's like $100/year and will save you when your dingus uncle sues you for giving him "bad advice" at thanksgiving because he's bitter about how much you make
 

BidingMyTime

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It's like $100/year and will save you when your dingus uncle sues you for giving him "bad advice" at thanksgiving because he's bitter about how much you make
This. Like with all ins, you buy pharmacist insurance hoping you will never actually have to claim on it (well, for some reason people think health ins is different....), but if you do ever have to claim on it, you will be glad you have it.

OP, Pharmacist insurance will protect you outside of work, where your employer's insurance will not.

Also, remember your employer's insurance is representing both you and your employer....if push comes to shove, who do you think they will throw under the bus-you or your employer? This is reason #2 while its important to have pharmacist ins.
 

confettiflyer

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Who the hell is doing pharmacist things outside of work?

And employee actions and employer are inseparable unless you go on a rampage with an axe. Employer "throwing an employee under the bus" simultaneously opens employer up to that exact liability they're trying to pawn off. Does not make good legal sense.


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kwakster928

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The only time I carried a supplemental liability insurance was when I worked per-diem for a small independent. If you are working for a major corp. or hospital, I feel that is not really necessary. However, if having it makes you go to sleep at night, do it.
 

msweph

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I let mine lapse because they increased it 25%. Waiting on a promo or something to get it again
 
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lord999

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http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/malpractice-insurance.1211554/#post-17947548

My answer is there, confetti has the good counterpoint to me, and I would normally agree with him if I were a standing practicing pharmacist in an institutional setting. If you are a floater, or you have management liability (where it's not about losing, it's about being constantly sued by pissed off employees and other members of the public), or you have real assets to defend, you should consider umbrella policies. The strict liability that PharmMutual and other companies sell is that "cheap" because of how rarely the circumstances of it get invoked (confetti's argument). Mine's in the realm of $4kish because I've been personally sued four times for non-practice matters (contract negligence on two of them, named party in management in the other two) which would have costed me a lot to defend, but for that insurance. I won them all easily, but it's a common matter for someone who deals with FAR matters in the civil service.

I wouldn't if I were hospital/institutional. I definitely would if I were a floater or a 1099 consultant, and I definitely would if I still were W2'ed by Walgreens as they had a notorious reputation for not defending their pharmacists back in the day.

Moral hazard answer: I would buy liability insurance if I were an alcoholic or addict and I was afraid of committing an offense while high. The policies for the states that I have practiced in are not allowed to exclude impairment as a payout matter.
 
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gwarm01

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Generally a waste of money, discussed extensively on another thread. There's a actuarial reason it's so cheap, think about that for a moment.


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Got a link to the thread? I'd like to hear the arguments. I kept mine for a good three years then let it lapse because I'm working in a non-clinical role primarily. Recently I took a weekend job that involves patient care so I was thinking about getting it as a backup, but I'm very uninformed on the whole subject. You make a good point about how low the price is, but it has always been my fear that my employer would blame me if a serious error occurred.

I let mine lapse because they increased it 25%. Waiting on a promo or something to get it again
Off-topic but have you jumped ship yet? I remember you were trying to get out of the evenings/weekends/holiday grind. I would recommend you joining the IT team but damn if I don't miss the clinical side.
 

confettiflyer

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http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/malpractice-insurance.1211554/#post-17947548

My answer is there, confetti has the good counterpoint to me, and I would normally agree with him if I were a standing practicing pharmacist in an institutional setting. If you are a floater, or you have management liability (where it's not about losing, it's about being constantly sued by pissed off employees and other members of the public), or you have real assets to defend, you should consider umbrella policies. The strict liability that PharmMutual and other companies sell is that "cheap" because of how rarely the circumstances of it get invoked (confetti's argument). Mine's in the realm of $4kish because I've been personally sued four times for non-practice matters (contract negligence on two of them, named party in management in the other two) which would have costed me a lot to defend, but for that insurance. I won them all easily, but it's a common matter for someone who deals with FAR matters in the civil service.

I wouldn't if I were hospital/institutional. I definitely would if I were a floater or a 1099 consultant, and I definitely would if I still were W2'ed by Walgreens as they had a notorious reputation for not defending their pharmacists back in the day.

Moral hazard answer: I would buy liability insurance if I were an alcoholic or addict and I was afraid of committing an offense while high. The policies for the states that I have practiced in are not allowed to exclude impairment as a payout matter.

I 100% agree with you, I failed to include my usual proviso of "everyone's personal situation is different" but I assume that anyone in a role you describe has the business acumen to obtain liability coverage commensurate with their liability exposure.

But for the vast majority of staff pharmacists of all stripes and settings, employee coverage and legal protection is more than sufficient.

Even better in California where punitive damages are capped at $250,000 by law, and where costs to bring malpractice suits can cost law firms $100k.

If you suspect malpractice, you're better off walking in the hallway, slipping on a puddle of water, and suing for that.


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confettiflyer

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Got a link to the thread? I'd like to hear the arguments. I kept mine for a good three years then let it lapse because I'm working in a non-clinical role primarily. Recently I took a weekend job that involves patient care so I was thinking about getting it as a backup, but I'm very uninformed on the whole subject. You make a good point about how low the price is, but it has always been my fear that my employer would blame me if a serious error occurred.


Off-topic but have you jumped ship yet? I remember you were trying to get out of the evenings/weekends/holiday grind. I would recommend you joining the IT team but damn if I don't miss the clinical side.
Lord999 posted it above I think. In your situation, it might actually be worth it, depending on how your employment is structured.


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Old Timer

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The only and I mean only value to these polices is they provide you with your own attorney if you go to trial or if you need to appear before your state board. Otherwise, they are useless. They only pay if the primary insurer is exhausted, If you comit malpractice I can't see you causing enough damage to bankrupt even Rite Aid, let alone Walgreens or CVS.
 
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msweph

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Got a link to the thread? I'd like to hear the arguments. I kept mine for a good three years then let it lapse because I'm working in a non-clinical role primarily. Recently I took a weekend job that involves patient care so I was thinking about getting it as a backup, but I'm very uninformed on the whole subject. You make a good point about how low the price is, but it has always been my fear that my employer would blame me if a serious error occurred.


Off-topic but have you jumped ship yet? I remember you were trying to get out of the evenings/weekends/holiday grind. I would recommend you joining the IT team but damn if I don't miss the clinical side.
I'm still at the same gig... I've been looking around at different jobs but haven't applied for anything yet. Really would love IT but I'm geography limited because my spouse is a MD resident.
 

lord999

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The only and I mean only value to these polices is they provide you with your own attorney if you go to trial or if you need to appear before your state board. Otherwise, they are useless. They only pay if the primary insurer is exhausted, If you comit malpractice I can't see you causing enough damage to bankrupt even Rite Aid, let alone Walgreens or CVS.
(I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice.)
That depends. I think that's generally true in CA. It's not that way in AZ, FL, MN, and the DC tri-state area as the way the practice acts, respondeat superior does not apply to openly negligent behavior. So, if I committed a tortable mistake while I'm high or drunk in DC or AZ, that's not CVS's problem, that's mine as no pharmacy would ever reasonably let an impaired pharmacist work. AZ, I am certain, that there are specific parts of the ARS that are designed to separate respondeat superior implications to your employer in that circumstance. The attorney being provided is actually not just before trial, but can be stopped pre-trial or may settle out of court (which if they say so and pay it, you have to).

Civil service and uniformed personnel, pay attention to the below.

I'll give the fed case as another matter. If I am acting as the agent for the US Government with capital letters, you may not sue me personally under the doctrine of sovereign immunity for official actions and that's codified in FTCA. However, say that I decided that I'm going to hire this pharmacist because she's hot discriminating against you. You decide to sue the USG over my managerial discrimination. Depending on how the local US Attorney wants to deal with it, if he/she is willing to make the effort, the US Attorney can argue that I was not in fact acting as a USG agent, I'm just a horny pervert abusing his office (this is an important distinction as abuse of office is a designated exception under abuse of process). There's 10 or 11 things that for civil service (not uniform) that sovereign immunity can be separated from the respondeat superior and you can be personally sued or criminally held. That list of the "intentional torts" are:

Assault or battery; false imprisonment or false arrest; malicious prosecution or abuse of process; libel or slander; misrepresentation or deceit; and interference with contract rights.

Law enforcement have specific exceptions for those depending on the context of the event, but take it from me, it's easy to get libel or slander and interference with contract rights, or abuse of process easily in the civil service.

So, pharmacists who work at BoP if not uniformed service, almost always carry malpractice due to committing 'assault and battery' in self-defense which still gets an Administrative Investigation Board which you would want a lawyer for. Any pharmacist who works for the National Acquisition Center or handles contracts should carry malpractice (and malfeseance) insurance due to the absolute certainty of being sued personally at least once by a mad supplier. The feds do cover most (and in the case of certain jobs, all) of the costs associated with paying for private malpractice insurance to a predefined limit.

Coming back to confettti's and old timer's point, if you are a conscientious pharmacist who screwed up (even if this involves a patient death) and it was a mistake, and you were consciously trying to work within your corporation's workflow rules: you could be sued, you could lose, and you *possibly* might pay, but the chances of that perfect storm AND having your corporation's fidelity and liability insurance not cover the matter are so remote that PharmMutual can get away with charging you $100 a year as the likelihood of even collecting on it for the consult is extremely low. You still might want to buy malpractice, but for the scenario outlined, it probably is not necessarily a good deal unless you know something about yourself in the moral hazard sense.

Any deviation from that scenario: owner/self-employed/contractor (where the respondeat superior does not apply), soft issues liability, corporation that has a known legal strategy to screw you (Cork Walgreen's legal strategy for old Walgreens), you're impaired and your work doesn't know it, you probably want to think about the circumstances and consider liability. But for the normal rank and file pharmacist doing the normal rank and file work and is observing the normal work process, I doubt you need it.

-----
Somewhat on a related topic, do any of you carry disability insurance? For that part, the fed covers it, but I'm wondering if anyone personally carries a disability policy for lost income to injury.
 
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Old Timer

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(I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice.)
That depends. I think that's generally true in CA. It's not that way in AZ, FL, MN, and the DC tri-state area as the way the practice acts, respondeat superior does not apply to openly negligent behavior. So, if I committed a tortable mistake while I'm high or drunk in DC or AZ, that's not CVS's problem, that's mine as no pharmacy would ever reasonably let an impaired pharmacist work. AZ, I am certain, that there are specific parts of the ARS that are designed to separate respondeat superior implications to your employer in that circumstance. The attorney being provided is actually not just before trial, but can be stopped pre-trial or may settle out of court (which if they say so and pay it, you have to).
Malpractice insurance does not cover gross negligence. And no matter what you do at CVS and Walgreens, they are responsible for it. If you were drunk they should have removed you. Why would any plaintiff attorney sue you when they can sue a 100 billion dollar corporation.