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Team medical staff might see improved insurance coverage

College sports teams travel all around the country for events. The issue with this is that there isn't any legal clarification that provides protections for team doctors who are traveling with the team. A recent bill passed the United States House of Representatives that would clarify that the medical malpractice insurance team doctors carry would follow them in other states.

The Sports Medicine Licensure Clarity Act would strip away the jurisdictional limitations that many malpractice insurance carriers claim apply when the practitioner is in another state. The bill is backed by the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine. Those who support the bill note that the current state of medical malpractice insurance for the team medical staff leaves the staff members at an undue financial and professional risk if there is something that happens while the team is traveling.

The bill also provides better protection for the athletes who are under the care of the medical staff members. If something does happen, jurisdictional issues wouldn't come into the picture once this bill is passed. That would make it easier for these athletes to make claims if they were the victims of malpractice while the team is on the road.

The bill still has to pass the U.S. Senate, but the approval by the House is one step in the right direction. Until then, athletes who are affected by medical malpractice might have more hoops to jump through if they need compensation. Anyone who is harmed by a medical professional should be sure he or she understands how the current laws affect his or her case.

Source: Insurance Journal, "Sports Team Doctors Want Medical Malpractice Protection When Traveling Out of State," Sep. 15, 2016

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