While it is an unfortunate incident, medical malpractice does happen in real life. What is alarming is that around 250,000 patients die each year in the United States because of this very reason — making it the third-leading cause of death in the country.
Medical malpractice insurance covers a certain amount of expenses resolving damages brought about by malpractice. In Indiana, a state program called the Indiana patient compensation fund (PCF) helps victims recover any damage that exceeds the threshold value of malpractice insurance.
In 1975, Indiana wrote history as they became the first state in America to implement malpractice reform through the Medical Malpractice Act (MMA). This landmark act — which offers protection not only to patients but to healthcare experts as well — features the groundbreaking PCF program.
The Indiana Patient Compensation Fund works when the damages incurred through medical malpractice exceeds the cap value of the healthcare provider’s malpractice insurance.
However, patients must take note that there’s also a threshold when it comes to the amount of compensation that can be claimed through this program. Until July 2017, healthcare providers are allowed to contribute a maximum of $250,000. If the damages exceed this value, victims can ask for additional compensation — $1 million as the highest — through the IPCF.
Due to some amendments in the cap value, victims who filed claims from July 1, 2017 until June 30, 2019 can enjoy an initial maximum compensation worth $400,000 from negligent healthcare providers and another $ 1.25 million worth of compensation via the IPCF.
Thanks to another series of threshold adjustments, claims that will rise after July 1, 2019 will now see a total of $1.8 million worth of maximum compensation — $500,000 from medical malpractice insurance and another $1.3 million from the IPCF.
How To Seek Compensation Via IPCF
The benefits that the Indiana Patient Compensation Fund offers to medical malpractice victims indeed hold a significant value. This is why many patients are trying to file claims and successfully receive compensation through this program. However, you must take note that there’s a rigid evaluation that needs to be undertaken before making a successful claim for compensation.
Undergo a medical review panel. First off, you must go through a review panel composed of three doctors or healthcare providers who will assess your condition. You’d need to file a medical malpractice complaint with the Indiana Department of Insurance. Within a span of around 18 months, the panel will decide whether you’re qualified to pursue your claim or not.
Seek compensation from the healthcare provider. Depending on when you’ve filed your complaint, you are entitled to receive a certain amount of money from the negligent healthcare provider as stated above. You can expect to receive it in whole or through an initial settlement fund coupled with an insurance annuity to complete the amount.
File a petition with the PCF. This step will complete the process of seeking medical malpractice compensation through the IPCF. However, bear in mind that the PCF will take into account different things before you get compensated — from medical expenses to lost wages and pain and suffering.
At Montross Miller, our team of experts can help you if you are a victim of medical malpractice. Contact us today to learn more about the Indiana patient compensation fund.