Final Comments on HCSF from Chip Wheelen

Recently the Health Care Stabilization Fund Executive Director and the Fund’s Chief Attorney participated in a seminar co-hosted by the associations that represent Kansas adult care facilities. The slide presentation was based on the information contained in a Health Care Stabilization Fund General Information Brochure that may be downloaded from the agency’s website at http://hcsf.kansas.gov/news/Pages/default.aspx

The following information is the last installment in this series of articles explaining the Health Care Provider Insurance Availability Act (K.S.A. 40-3401 et seq). You will recall that effective January 1, 2015 nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, and residential health care facilities will become defined health care providers under K.S.A. 40-3401 and therefore will be subject to the provisions of the Health Care Provider Insurance Availability Act. Optimistically, the following information will never be relevant to you or your staff. On the other hand, if a patient files a claim against your facility alleging substandard care, the following information will be valuable. 

 

How the HCSF Becomes Aware of Lawsuits and Claims

 

If a claim is made without a formal legal action being filed, the provider should notify their primary insurance company and the Fund's Legal Section as soon as possible. All inactive health care providers should contact the Fund as soon as they have any notice of a claim, regardless of whether or not actual court proceedings have been commenced by the filing of a petition.

 

Any health care provider, active or inactive, who is sued outside Kansas, has an obligation to notify the Health Care Stabilization Fund. If any action is filed against a resident health care provider outside of this State, the health care provider or the health care provider's insurance company must notify the HCSF Board of Governors as soon as possible.

 

When and How the HCSF Defends Health Care Providers

 

Primary insurance companies provide a defense on behalf of active health care providers.  If the claim or lawsuit exceeds the basic coverage limits and results in a tender, the Health Care Stabilization Fund will assume the cost of defending the health care provider. In most situations, the Fund continues to provide a defense using the same attorney utilized by the primary insurer.

 

Inactive health care providers, who are qualified for Fund tail coverage, rely on the Fund to appoint a defense attorney.  Defense attorneys appointed by the Fund to defend actions against inactive providers are skilled medical malpractice defense lawyers. If a health care provider has questions or concerns regarding the primary insurer's defense or the Fund's defense activities relating to a specific claim or suit, the provider should contact the Fund's Chief Attorney at 785-291-3777.