Hello colleagues,


I am trying to finalize a contract between me and a prospective new podiatrist to come to my practice.  We have been negotiating and have almost everything finalized except a question about tail coverage for malpractice.  this covers you when you leave one office and work in another for acts at previous office.  He wants me to pay tail coverage if he leaves practice after his 1 year contract is up.  He'd pay tail coverage if he breaks contract and leaves before contract end after a year.  He's worked for one year in another state with a different malpractice carrier so far in his career.  

I called my malpractice carrrier and they said tail coverage is a one time lump sum payment that amount of depends on amount of time in practice, and several other things that are put into a formula and they couldn't tell me for sure what that would be.  Does anyone know an estimate of what that would be for podiatrist 2 years out of residency with no claims against them?  

I thought tail coverage too was for people who retire, go to VA to work from private practice, are disabled and can't work. I heard tail coverage doesn't apply and isn't needed if you stay with same malpractice carrrier, continue to work, but just at different office.  Is this true?  

I'm confused and don't want to be stuck with a big fee if this new associate bolts after a short time.  Thank you.

  • Comments (4)
  • Dr. Dale,

    What a wonderfully indulgent boss, you are. I'm starting out as an Independent Contractor. Malpractice Insurance of course also a hot topic on my mind. I get to provide all my own cover, warts an'all. No haggling over such details, in my case. 

    One of the options is 'claims made' v. 'occurrence'. The latter seems the more desirable providing the doctor coverage for any future claims made  whereas the claims made option will not provide cover if/when the policy is cancelled. The tail, of course being the premium paid (100-500%) of the mature premium to lock in the policy.

    So, when it's available (not all states) go for the occurrence option. 

    But you probably know all that.

  • Also, I am using PICA.  I have been with them a long time, I like them too.

  • Hello Dr. Chaskin.  Thank you for your advice.  I never thought about it if no one pays for the tail coverage, then the practice would be liable for acts the podiatrist did while employed and not just employee doctor.  So, someone has to pay the coverage.  That is a good idea to post to Dr. Block's blog about this question, I subscribe to this.  I think I need to go back to my lawyer and just ask him.  I am not sure if he is a medical/legal specialist, but I have used him for several contracts for my practice.  

  • Claims made policies have prior act coverage that is included within the yearly premium cost.

    It seems that if an employer agrees to pay the malpractice coverage then you are paying for

    your employees prior acts with an increased premium.

    One caveat. If your employee leaves your practice and does not purchase tail coverage

    you may possibly be responsible as an employer for the malpractice acts of your employee.

    You may want to pay for a tail if your employee leaves your practice or ensure that there is

    tail coverage.

    As part of your employer employee contract you could mandate that if your employee leaves they

    agree to purchase tail insurance or be liable to pay for any expenses you incurr if they do not purchase

    tail insurance if they leave. After all you as an employer might just be looked upon as

    having the deep pockets.

    I am hoping that you give serious consideration as to using PICA. PICA is much more than

    only a malpractice insurance company. PICA cares about podiatrists.


    As you know I am not an attorney and it is best to consult with a licensed healthcare attorney

    within the state in which you live in. The American College of Legal Medicine provides lists of

    health care attorneys. The American College of Legal Medicine has an awesome textbook

    that I purchased online. The American College of Legal Medicine has so much online information.

     PM news also is a wonderful resourse. Why not write to Barry Block with your question and see

    if there are any different opinons.