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New York City hospitals operating without malpractice insurance

Unfortunately, errors occur frequently at hospitals all across the country. People who are harmed due to the negligent care they receive at a hospital may decide to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.

However, some hospitals in New York City do not have malpractice insurance, which means that deserving patients may not be able to get the compensation they are entitled to when hospital staff members make grave errors.

Many of the hospitals that do not have malpractice insurance have experienced major financial problems. Hospital officials say they do not have the money to pay for insurance.

Hospitals in New York City may think opting to operate without malpractice insurance makes financial sense. However, those decisions fail to take into consideration the best interests of the patients.

"They're taking in these people knowing they're not able to make good on the harm they caused," one law professor noted. "Even a really good hospital is going to have a certain amount of medical malpractice. It's inevitable."

Hospitals in New York are not required to have malpractice insurance. Some of the hospitals that are partially or fully self-insured have created reserve funds to pay malpractice claims. However, a review by The New York Times of state and hospital records showed that many hospitals have little or no money set aside.

When errors are made, doctors and hospitals should be held accountable. Some instances of medical malpractice result in the need for lifelong care. A story like this shows that some hospitals are unwilling to take the necessary steps to ensure that patients who are harmed while under their care receive the compensation they deserve.

Source: The New York Times, "Troubled New York Hospitals Forgo Coverage for Malpractice," Anemona Hartocollis, July 15, 2012

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