In response to COVID-19-related staff shortages, ambulatory physicians may be asked to move to emergency or inpatient care. The AAFP offers a guide to make sure you are protected.
As part of resource mobilization against the rapid spread of COVID-19 in the US, physicians in ambulatory care may be asked to move to emergency or even inpaitent care. Often the need is greatest in states where infection rates are high.If you decide to make the move, make sure you have all the information you need first on topics like portability of malpractice insurance if crossing state lines, reciprocal licensure, and how temporary priveleges are being granted.The American Academy of Family Physicians has just created a guide to help facilitate a shift in practice, summarized in the slides below.
Hospitals and health systems are required to have an emergency operation plan* to guide their disaster response. Ask for a copy to review.
Malpractice insurance varies by state. Your state’s emergency declaration may provide you some protections. Ask your hospital or health system if you will be covered by its malpractice insurance in your new setting.
Review your malpractice insurance policy to ensure that you are covered in your temporary practice setting. Ask about tail coverage.
Speak with your insurance carrier directly. You u will likely need to update your coverage and keep a record of communication with the carrier. Having doubts? Contact an attorney.
How does the hospital’s active emergency operation plan affect you, and how are temporary privileges being granted?
Does the emergency declaration in the state you will be in provide you with liability protections or malpractice coverage?
Will your hospital or health system’s malpractice insurance cover you? In what settings, and for what aspects of patient care?
How will continuity of care be provided for your patient panel? Will you continue to be involved in care for your patient panel?
Additional resources are available at the Federation of State Medical Boards' COVID-19 page and your AAFP chapter, health department, state medical board, or state medical society may also offer further information.
For more COVID-19 coverage for primary care, visit our COVID-19 Resource Page.