Going bare is like ‘playing Russian roulette’

While legal in most communities, going bare has to be “a last resort when you’re holding on by your fingernails,” says Douglas Grimm, JD, partner and chair of the healthcare practice for the law firm of Stradley Ronon in Philadelphia. He represents healthcare providers.

“It’s like playing Russian roulette,” Grimm says. “It’s like something out of The Deer Hunter. One bad claim and boom, you’re done.”

Grimm also raises the question of whether a hospital without malpractice insurance should notify patients, physicians, staff, and others who might be affected in the event of a malpractice loss. It is reasonable for people to assume that a hospital is insured, he says. “If they’re going bare and the people there don’t know it, that compounds the problem. When plaintiffs turn to those people for money, things are going to get ugly,” Grimm says. “But the idea of a hospital sending out a memo saying ‘We don’t have insurance, so please be careful,’ is not very practical.”


• Douglas Grimm, JD, Partner and Chair of the Healthcare Practice, Stradley Ronon, Philadelphia, PA. Telephone: (215) 564-8539. Email: dgrimm@stradley.com.