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Changing Employers? Keep Your Tail Covered!

A common question regarding employment, and particularly changes in employment, revolves around the idea of tail insurance coverage.  As such, this issue’s legal column explores what tail coverage is, why you need it, and who pays for it.

In general, there are two types of medical malpractice insurance policies: (1) claims made policies and (2) occurrence policies.  If an advanced practice nurse (“APN”) has a “claims made policy,” this means that the insurance will cover any claims that are made against the APN while that policy is in effect.  However, it will not cover claims that are made after the policy is terminated (i.e. the APN moves to a new practice or the practice changes carriers).  Anyone with a “claims made” policy should purchase a “tail” policy to be effective once the original policy ends.  The tail policy will extend insurance coverage for a set amount of time in order to protect the APN against lawsuits that may be brought at a later date even though the original policy is no longer in effect.  This tail should be purchased regardless of specialty.  In general, it is best to negotiate who is responsible for purchasing the tail before entering into an employment agreement.  Otherwise, the APN will likely hold full responsibility for purchasing the tail, unless his/her new employer will purchase it or a severance package can be negotiated with the former employer that includes tail coverage.

If an APN has an “occurrence policy,” this means that the insurance will cover any claims made against the APN for incidents that occurred while the policy was in place.  (A lawsuit will still be covered after the policy ends, so long as the actual incident at issue occurred while the policy was in effect.)  In this case, there is no need to purchase a tail policy, because the occurrence policy will continue to protect the APN for incidents that happened while the policy was in place.  This type of policy is becoming rare.  Most places now carry a “claims made” policy, but there are a few “occurrence policies” still used.

SHORT ANSWER:  Anyone coming off of a “claims made policy” should purchase a tail.

STRATEGIC TIP:  It is best to negotiate who will buy the tail during employment contract negotiations before employment even commences.  There are many ways this can be structured.

Article by Jeana M. Singleton taken from the OAAPN Newsletter Challenge, September 2009

Brandon Pauley Represents Residents in Proposed Mixed Use Development Zoning Matter in Columbus

A group of neighbors has organized in opposition to a proposed mixed-use development in Schumacher Place. Brandon Pauley represents the residents.

Eviction? Foreclosure? Akronites Seek Legal Help at Free Clinic

Housing issues dominated a legal clinic over the weekend in Akron's Middlebury neighborhood, with people seeking free help on how to handle everything from foreclosures to evictions. The clinic was organized by Community Legal Aid and included more than a dozen attorneys who volunteered their time to work with close to 70 people, mostly from Summit County.

Akron law firm, Legal Aid co-hosting free legal clinic

For the second year in a row, Brennan, Manna and Diamond LLC is partnering with Community Legal Aid to become a law firm on wheels for low-income Summit County residents.

The Massive Medicare Appeals Backlog is Significantly Harming Providers, What You Can Do To Stop It

Few occurrences in healthcare billing and coding will bring instant anxiety as receiving an overpayment demand from one of CMS’ contractors. We all know that we are lucky if we make it through the first two levels of appeal (Redetermination-Level 1 and Reconsideration-Level 2) with 100% success on all claims, even if every claim was billed correctly.

BMD and Community Legal Aid 2nd Annual Free Neighborhood Law Clinic - March 23, 2019

The law firm, Brennan, Manna and Diamond LLC (“BMD”), is again teaming up with Community Legal Aid to host a free legal clinic.