The ACGME is pleased to learn that the US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware approved a settlement today with Hahnemann University Hospital’s (HUH) owner to pay for the professional liability tail insurance for the more than 500 residents and fellows displaced by the hospital closure last year.
For updates about the insurance requirements for residents and fellows and additional information, visit the Pennsylvania Medical Society website. The Philadelphia County Medical Society can also answer questions via email, here.
HUH Closure Background
Medical malpractice insurance coverage for residents and fellows employed at 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.
ACGME’s Accreditation Requirements
The ACGME’s Institutional Requirements state that as the Sponsoring Institution, HUH must have malpractice insurance, including coverage for any future claims, for the residents and fellows as part of their employment contract.
HUH 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, HUH 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)