In October 2013, the Arizona legislature passed a measure that changes insurance requirements for many doctors in Arizona. Under this new provision, doctors contracted with the state Medicaid system are now required to carry sexual abuse and molestation insurance coverage.
eQuoteMD caught up with an expert in the field of Arizona medical professional liability insurance to find out more about the rule change. Sean Mintz of Centurion Medical Liability Services filled us in on the details:
eQuoteMD: What is the new law passed in Arizona regarding sexual abuse and molestation? A brief explanation would help.
SM: In October 2013, the State of Arizona Medicaid system known as the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) passed legislation that requires all AHCCS providers and subcontractors to carry sexual abuse & molestation insurance coverage.
eQuoteMD: What impact does the new law have on physicians in Arizona?
SM: The new legislation contains Minimum Subcontract Provisions (MSPs) that require all participants with AHCCCS Medicaid contracts to include sexual abuse & molestation coverage as part of their medical professional liability insurance.
eQuoteMD: Why has Centurion decided to add coverage for this?
SM: Centurion is domiciled in the State of Arizona and has developed the sexual abuse & molestation program for Arizona physicians and subcontractors requiring this coverage to be compliant with the new AHCCCS legislation.
Mr. Mintz also indicated in our conversation that this provision is of particular significance for pediatricians, psychiatrists, and family practice physicians. These doctors are the most likely to be contracted with AHCCCS and thus the most likely to be impacted by this new requirement. Additionally, the requirement goes beyond just the doctors to those they subcontract with as well, so it is important that Arizona doctors educate themselves and those they work with on these new provisions.
One thing that Mr. Mintz did not mention above, but that we here at eQuoteMD are aware of from our work with a broad base of providers, is that coverage for sexual abuse & molestation is typically not only not covered in professional liability policies, but it is often specifically excluded. In other words, if you are an Arizona physician, unless you have sought out coverage since this change was made, you are likely out of compliance, and this is the year that enforcement begins.
That’s what makes Centurion’s new offering so unique and valuable. They are stepping up to fill a gap and provide doctors a means of compliance that was largely unavailable before. Centurion has gotten authorization to offer a specific sublimit on their professional liability policies in Arizona to cover the sexual abuse & molestation coverage mandate. This will allow doctors to save both time and money by building the necessary coverage directly into their malpractice coverage.
It will be interesting to see if Arizona’s lead on this issue is followed by other states. On the one hand it’s, of course, a topic none of us wants to think about. But on the other hand, now that the issue has been put out there, it’s not too hard to imagine other state legislatures viewing Arizona’s decision here as a good idea. It provides the state indemnity in a realm where they certainly would want it at no cost to themselves, because the expense is just passed on to the physicians. Unfortunately such a deal may prove too tempting for other states to pass up.
You can view or download a copy of the updated Minimum Subcontract Provisions here.
This post was written by Justin Donathan.
Justin at Google+