Deciding to practice as a “locum tenens” doctor is an excellent opportunity for any doctor. Basically, a “locum tenens” doctor or “place holder” doctor is a substitute doctor for an absent doctor. For new doctors, they could try out different practice styles and location prior to committing to a permanent setting. Those in the middle of their careers could test out various areas, while bridging the gap in their incomes. And more experienced doctors could have some breathing room in their practice without completely retiring. It’s crucial, however, to consider the potential implications of having a temporary position with regards to medical malpractice insurance.
Medical Malpractice for Locum Tenens Doctors
In Florida, Graceybacker.com explains that policies of medical malpractice insurance could be extended to endorse coverage to approved locum tenens doctors. Being approved indicates that the insured doctor must communicate to his insurance provider the locum tenens doctor’s name as well as the specific dates the doctor is practicing while the insured doctor is away. Some providers require a through evaluation of the locum tenens doctor’s qualifications, while some don’t, just as long as the doctor specializes in the insured doctor’s practice, submits an approved history of claims, and a valid license.
Other Crucial Considerations
If you’re a locum tenens doctor, determine the insured doctor’s tail requirements if he or she has a claims-made policy. There’s no issue if the insured doctor keeps continuous insurance coverage, but if he or she decides to drop the insurance and doesn’t get a tail policy, you might not be covered. Likewise, if you obtained your locum tenens post from a placement organization, ask if coverage is included or not. With regards to the insured doctor, if he or she retires, obtains free tail, and decides to practice again this time as a locum tenens, he or she might have issues with the free tail. That said, he or she would have to check with the insurance provider and get a written approval before practicing as a locum tenens to ensure coverage.