Malpractice Hits Closer to Home

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People often visit one of QuickCare's four clinics, who never see the inside of a hospital or a doctor's office.

Three of those clinics are located in West Virginia, and the company which handles its malpractice insurance is getting out of the business in the state as of July first.
Even though QuickCare's business is different, not having insurance could still leave it vulnerable to lawsuits.

"We don't have a great deal of exposure compared to the more high-risk specialties," says chief physician Dr. Brian Whalin. "But we know it's a potential, and it can happen."
The legislature late last year approved a limited, state-run insurance policy. But Whalin says approval for that plan didn't come right away.

In order for QuickCare to get coverage, it had to prove that 80 percent of its business was from West Virginia.

"I would be willing to practice, regardless of what the malpractice situation is," says Whalin. "But I certainly would not require my physicians to do likewise if they were unable to obtain insurance."

And Whalin says the problem isn't confined to West Virginia. Other states, including neighboring Pennsylvania, have had similar problems. And he wouldn't rule out Ohio being one of them in the future.