What You Need to Know About Mcare in Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, if you or a loved one suffered an injury due to a healthcare provider’s negligence, you will need to go through the Mcare process.
Mcare refers to the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Fund, which was signed into law by the Pennsylvania legislature in 2002 as part of Act 13. It is a special fund within the state treasury that provides reasonable compensation for anyone injured as a result of medical negligence.
All money in the Mcare Fund is used for paying claims against participating healthcare providers and eligible entities for damages or losses awarded in medical professional liability actions that exceed the limits of primary insurance coverage.
There are three main components to Mcare:
- Industry compliance: All physicians, hospitals and other healthcare providers as outlined in the Mcare Act must have medical professional liability insurance. If the Mcare Fund does not receive information about a provider’s insurance, it is obligated (after notifying the healthcare provider) to report the provider to the appropriate licensing board, which will then suspend or revoke the provider’s license.
- Handling claims: When patients take legal action against hospitals or healthcare providers, the Mcare Fund is usually a part of the claims handling process and helps make payments to the patient. It often serves as an informal mediator, giving parties to the claim a neutral, accepted platform for alternative dispute resolution. This allows for a more efficient resolution of claims that should be settled out of court but do not have any other formal process to do so.
- Coverage: Mcare does not receive any taxpayer funding. Instead, all funds come from the healthcare providers served by Mcare, in annual payments.
Would you like to know more about Pennsylvania’s healthcare system and the Mcare Fund? Contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer at Rudberg Law Offices, LLC. Call us at 412-488-6000 or contact us online to get started.