The ACGME has learned from the Pennsylvania Medical Society that the medical malpractice insurance coverage for residents and fellows employed at Hahnemann University Hospital (HUH) between January 2018 and September 2019 has been extended to March 12, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. The coverage was originally set to expire on January 10, 2020 and had been extended to February 10, 2020.
While employed, HUH's residents and fellows were insured with claims-made coverage. In December 2019, American Academic Health System, the owner of HUH, announced it would terminate this coverage on January 10, 2020. Upon termination of the claims-made policy, residents and fellows who worked at HUH during the coverage period would no longer be covered by the policy unless they purchased tail insurance (or its equivalent).
The ACGME notified American Academic Health System as well as the Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner, Secretary of Health for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the Pennsylvania Attorney General, that HUH is in violation of the ACGME Institutional Requirements and that it must have malpractice insurance, which includes coverage of any future claims (e.g., tail insurance), for all residents and fellows.
Additional Resources for Prior Hahnemann Residents and Fellows
The American Medical Association (AMA) agreed to underwrite an attorney to represent the residents and fellows in the Hahnemann bankruptcy and other court proceedings, specifically related to tail insurance coverage. As described in the Claims-Made Insurance Primer (details below), impacted residents and fellows who wish to be included in this representation at no cost should contact Jeremy W. Ryan of Potter Anderson Corroon.
The Claims-Made Insurance Primer for Residents and Fellows Affected by Hahnemann Closure, published by the Philadelphia County and Pennsylvania Medical Societies, provides a summary of the status of the medical liability insurance for Hahnemann residents and fellows and the legal resources that are being made available.
The Pennsylvania Medical Society’s website lists a comprehensive set of resources for those impacted by the closure of Hahnemann, including insurance coverage and attorney contact information. Questions can also be submitted to them on that web page. The Philadelphia County Medical Society can also answer questions via email here.
ACGME’s Accreditation Requirements
The ACGME’s Institutional Requirements state that as the Sponsoring Institution, Hahnemann University Hospital must have malpractice insurance, including coverage for any future claims, for the residents and fellows as part of their employment contract.
Hahnemann has a responsibility as the employer of those residents and fellows from January 2018 through the closure of the graduate medical education programs to protect the residents and fellows from this liability and thereby protect any patients who may have suffered a compensable injury during that period of time. By not continuing to provide this coverage, Hahnemann places the residents and fellows in a position of severe financial risk that may jeopardize their medical licenses.
ACGME Institutional Requirements
IV.E. Professional Liability Insurance (page 13)
IV.E.1. The Sponsoring Institution must provide residents/fellows with professional liability coverage, including legal defense and protection against awards from claims reported or filed during participation in each of its ACGME-accredited programs, or after completion of the program(s) if the alleged acts or omissions of a resident/fellow are within the scope of the program(s).(Core)
IV.E.2. The Sponsoring Institution must provide official documentation of the details of liability coverage upon request of the individual.(Core)