Neurosurgeons are in Demand in Texas

Neurosurgeons are sought after in Texas, especially in light of an anticipated shortage of surgical specialists in the state by 2025, according to U.S. Department of Health & Human Services data. But with pioneering neurosurgery programs in Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, and San Antonio, Texas has much to attract new neurosurgeons.

However, neurosurgery is considered a high-risk specialty. Recent data from the National Practitioner Data Bank (U.S. Health & Human Services) revealed that nearly 3, 500 medical malpractice claims were filed in Texas in 2022. In fact, Texas ranked second among the top 10 U.S. states with the most medical malpractice claims that year.

That’s why Texas neurosurgeons need robust medical malpractice coverage.

As your only trusted broker, MEDPLI will help you find the right coverage at the best rate in Texas.

Get A Quote

First Step - Step 1 of 2

If you are a Texas neurosurgeon in private practice, or planning to open a new practice in Texas, use this guide prepared by independent MEDPLI insurance brokers to give you a concise overview of medical malpractice insurance. Then contact a MEDPLI insurance broker to discuss your coverage needs and get a quote.

Medical Malpractice Insurance Requirements for Texas Neurosurgeons

Texas does not legally require neurosurgeons to carry medical malpractice insurance in order to practice in the state. The most common limits of liability in Texas are $200,000 per Claim / $600,000 Aggregate per year in coverage. Many Neurosurgeons opt for higher limits to cover up to $1,000,000 per claim/$3,000,000 Aggregate Limits of Liability.

MEDPLI strongly recommends securing coverage from an A-rated carrier as the most cost-effective way to protect against devastating financial loss if you are sued for malpractice in Texas. As an independent broker, we specialize in medical malpractice insurance for neurosurgeons. We work for you to find the best policy at a great price.

Medical Malpractice Insurance Requirements for TX Neurosurgeons

Cost of Medical Malpractice Insurance for Texas Neurosurgeons

Each insurance carrier uses its own proprietary methods of setting the cost of medical malpractice insurance. Carriers consider factors such as practice location, surgical specialty, and past claims history.

In Texas, the areas that typically carry the highest rates are: Houston (Harris County), El Paso (El Paso County), Brownsville (Cameron County), McAllen (Hidalgo County), and Laredo (Webb).

The following are approximate medical malpractice insurance premium rates for neurosurgeons across all Texas areas:

 Specialty Approximate Claims Made Rate Approximate Tail Rate Approximate Occurrence Rate
Neurosurgery $50,000 $100,000 $65,000

*Using the TX standard limits of $200,000 Each Claim / $600,000 Aggregate per year in coverage

Types of Professional Liability Insurance for Texas Neurosurgeons

Here is a brief overview of the most common types of medical malpractice insurance in Texas:

1. Claims Made Insurance

Claims-made malpractice insurance provides coverage if the policy is in effect both when the incident took place AND when the claim is filed. If a claim is filed after the end of the policy date, the claim is NOT covered. With a claims-made policy, you need tail malpractice insurance, which is a separately purchased insurance policy or endorsement, to make sure you have full protection.

2. Occurrence Insurance

Occurrence malpractice insurance provides coverage for incidents that occurred during the policy year, regardless of when a claim is reported to the carrier. Occurrence policies are more costly at the start of the policy, but the rate generally stays the same for the length of the policy, and there is no need for tail coverage when the policy ends.

3. Tail Insurance

Since most malpractice insurance policies are underwritten on a claims-made basis, you will be exposed to a lawsuit if a former patient files a claim against you and you do not secure tail coverage. When you are preparing to leave your employer, you should seek tail coverage options with an independent broker like MEDPLI. Tail insurance covers you for a specific time period. The new employer’s policy is not going to cover you for prior acts of a former practice, hence tail coverage is needed.

Reach out to an experienced MEDPLI insurance broker who will get to work for you to find a tail policy at a great price.

Let a MEDPLI Broker Help You Choose the Best Policy for Your Practice

Every medical specialist’s situation is unique, so we recommend a conversation with a MEDPLI insurance broker to discuss the unique needs of your Texas practice. Your MEDPLI insurance broker will explain the benefits and limitations of each type of medical malpractice insurance to ensure you get the right type and amount of coverage for your neurosurgery specialty.

Texas Medical Malpractice Insurance Carriers

Get Quotes from A-rated Carriers Serving Texas Neurosurgeons

MEDPLI insurance brokers will obtain quotes from medical malpractice insurance from carriers rated “A” by A.M. Best for their long-term financial solvency and robust legal support of policyholders. Some of the top carriers include:

  • The Doctors Company

  • MedPro Group

  • Coverys Group

  • TMLT

  • ProAssurance

  • NORCAL Group (A Part of ProAssurance)

  • MagMutual Group

Why Neurosurgeons Are Classified as High Risk by Medical Malpractice Insurance Companies

Medical malpractice insurance underwriters classify neurosurgery as a high-risk because of the potential for patient outcomes with severe permanent injury or death. Statistics published in an article in The Journal of Neurosurgery indicate that nearly 20% of all practicing neurosurgeons in the U.S. are named as defendants in malpractice lawsuits each year.

Top Reasons Why Texas Neurosurgeons are Sued

According to a review of neurosurgery medical malpractice claims data by “A” rated malpractice insurance carrier MedPro Group , more than half of the cases cited allegations of patient injuries including pain, nerve damage, mobility loss, and the need for additional surgery related to these specific procedures:

  • Exploration/decompression of the spinal canal

  • Excision of the intervertebral disc

  • Cervical fusion, anterior

  • Lumbar fusion, posterior

In addition, some of the most often cited allegations in Texas’ neurosurgery medical malpractice cases include:

  • Post-surgical brain infection

  • Irreversible brain damage resulting from surgical error

  • Delayed diagnosis of post-surgical complication leading to paralysis

  • Improper post-surgical monitoring of patient

  • Failure to inform patient of risks of surgery

Neurosurgeons can reduce their risk of a malpractice lawsuit by implementing a comprehensive risk management strategy. For tips on fine tuning your risk management strategy, check out our Neurosurgeons Guide To Managing Malpractice Risk.

Texas’ Medical Malpractice Insurance Legislation

Consulting with a MEDPLI insurance broker who understands the complexities of Texas’ medical malpractice laws will ensure that your neurosurgery practice is protected with the right amount of coverage.

Texas’ Damage Caps on Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

  • Non-economic damage caps for medical malpractice lawsuits in Texas are set at $250,000 for individual healthcare providers and $250,000 for each medical facility involved in their injury.
  • There is an overall cap of $500,000 per plaintiff when it concerns how much they can collect from the total amount of medical facilities they sue.
  • There is no limit on the amount of compensation a plaintiff can recover for economic damages in Texas. Economic damages can include:
    • Medical costs for surgeries, physicians’ appointments, prescription medications and medical equipment
    • Lost wages due to the injury
    • Lost earning capacity if the injury is permanently debilitating or makes it impossible for the plaintiff to continue working

Texas’ Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Claims

According to state law, conditions for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in Texas are:

  • Typical negligence and injuries carry a 2-year statute of limitations. This starts the date the harm was discovered or could reasonably have been discovered.

  • If the injury occurred as part of a continuing course of healthcare treatment, the two years does not start running until the treatment is concluded.

  • Lawsuits filed on behalf of children under 12 years old must be filed by their 14th birthday.

  • Given various court rulings, there is some confusion over the true statute of limitations for minors. It is generally believed that the 2-year statute of limitation for minors will not begin to run until they legally become an adult (18-years-old).

  • Texas’ statute of repose mandates that patients must file a lawsuit for medical errors within 10 years; if no lawsuit is filed before the 10 years runs out, they can no longer bring a claim.

Neurosurgery Medical Malpractice Outcomes in Texas

With no cap on economic damages, neurosurgeons in Texas are more vulnerable to personal financial loss if they do not have robust medical malpractice insurance.

The total medical malpractice payout in Texas was $95,130,100 in 2022.

The following examples of Texas medical malpractice lawsuits found in favor of the plaintiff or settled shows the critical need for neurosurgeons to have strong liability coverage:

Total Medical Malpractice Payouts Texas 2022

Jury Awards $11.5 Million

The plaintiff alleged that the neurosurgeon and hospital failed to properly monitor her after cervical fusion and did not detect a post-surgical neck hematoma. After being discharged, she suffered an anoxic brain injury due to a compromised airway, which resulted in permanent brain damage.

Jury Awards $9.2 Million

A 52-year-old man suffered permanent post-operative paralysis after a procedure to reduce lower back pain. The plaintiff alleged that the neurosurgeon did not respond to signs that the patient was experiencing neurological distress during the surgery.

How MEDPLI Brokers Help Neurosurgeons Save time and Money on Medical Malpractice Insurance

Working with MEDPLI as your trusted broker takes the guesswork and effort out of trying to get the right coverage at the best rate on your own. We help you save time and money by:

  • Researching all of your best coverage, rate, and “A” rated carrier options that specifically meet the requirements of your OB/GYN specialty and practice location in Texas.

  • Asking about any policy discounts offered for a new practice, medical association members, or physicians with no previous claims, for example. Some of our carrier partners offer discounts for risk management and provide CMEs.

  • Researching flexible payment options offered by carriers to best fit the budget for your practice.

  • Reviewing and consulting with you on all quotes, payment options, and possible discounts to help you make the best choice of coverage and rate for your needs.

MEDPLI insurance brokers are ready to help you navigate the complexities of Texas’ medical malpractice laws and secure the right amount of coverage for your neurosurgery practice. From submitting your application, obtaining the best rates for new policies and renewals from “A” rated carriers, and more, MEDPLI is the only medical malpractice insurance broker you’ll ever need.