As you embark on your medical career in Pennsylvania, your mandate to do your utmost to provide quality care to your local patient population likely remains at the front of your mind. Unfortunately, despite your best efforts, healthcare ranks among the profession where satisfaction is not always guaranteed.
Patients, however, do not often understand that, and thus may quickly pursue a liability claim if and when their episode of care does not turn out the way they anticipated. Answering to such claims may be key to maintaining your medical license. Yet another potential risk to your good professional standing exists that has nothing to do with the care you deliver: Mcare compliance.
The Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Fund
Mcare refers to the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error. State lawmakers passed this resolution in 2002, making it mandatory for any healthcare practitioner in the state to carry medical professional liability insurance. Many within the industry may say that doing so is a best practice even in the absence of a legal mandate. Nevertheless, Mcare compliance renders the issue moot.
According to the Pennsylvania General Assembly, complying with Mcare requirements requires two steps: the payment of an annual assessment into the fund, and you providing proof that you carry malpractice insurance coverage. A failure to meet either one could result in the suspension or revocation of your medical license.
What does Mcare do?
You should know that Mcare is more than just another set of regulations you need to dedicate attention to. Indeed, the funds paid by local practitioners go to paying off claim settlements in excess of amounts typically provided through malpractice insurance coverage.