InsuranceFAQ

What is the Voluntary Attending Physicians (VAP) Program?

The Voluntary Attending Physicians (VAP) Program is a full-service malpractice insurance and risk management program with more than three decades of experience in providing occurrence and claims-made coverage at a competitive cost.

Who is eligible for the VAP Program?

To be eligible for the program, you must have voluntary attending privileges in place at one of the following hospitals:

  • Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center (OBs)
  • Maimonides Medical Center
  • Montefiore Medical Center
  • Montefiore Mount Vernon Hospital
  • Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital
  • Mount Sinai Beth Israel
  • Mount Sinai Beth Israel Brooklyn
  • Mount Sinai Hospital
  • Mount Sinai Queens
  • Mount Sinai Roosevelt
  • Mount Sinai St Luke’s
  • New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai

The participating hospital at which you have a primary affiliation will be known as your sponsor hospital.

Who is the insurance carrier?

Hospitals Insurance Company, Inc. (HIC) is a New York admitted and licensed company that provides both primary and an excess layer of coverage to physicians who qualify.

What are the eligibility requirements for the program?

Eligibility and continuing participation in the program require that if you admit more than 50 patients per year, at least half of your patients who require hospitalization must be admitted to the sponsor hospital. Your participation in the program may be terminated if you fail to satisfy this requirement.

How are premiums determined?

Premiums are based on the location of your principal office and your specialty.

What is meant by VAP Program limits?

Limits are the dollar amounts available to cover claims each year the policy is in effect. The primary layer provides $1.3 million per occurrence and $3.9 million in the aggregate—in other words, up to $1.3 million is available per claimant and $3.9 million is available annually.

What discounts are available to me in the VAP Program?

A variety of discounts are available to physicians who qualify:

  • A 2% discount is available if the entire premium is paid in a lump sum.
  • A 5% discount is available for successful completion of a New York State Insurance Department approved risk management course.
  • A 5% discount is available to obstetricians.
  • A 7% discount is afforded to all program participants for joint defense.
  • A 5% discount is available for waiver of consent.
  • A 35% discount is available for part-time (20 hours or less per week) practitioners in premium classes 2, 4, 6 (vascular only), 7, 8, 9, and 10. However, neurosurgery (1), obstetrics (3), orthopedics (5), and cardiothoracic surgery (6) are excluded from part-time coverage.
  • A 50% discount is available for part-time practitioners in premium classes 11 through 23, and 54.

What is first layer excess (Section 18) coverage?

A first excess layer of an additional $1 million per occurrence/$3 million in the aggregate is provided under New York State’s Professional First Layer Excess Liability Insurance (Section 18) Program, which increases limits to $2.3 million per occurrence/$6.9 million in the aggregate for each policy year. There is no cost to the physician, provided eligibility requirements are met.

What is the difference between occurrence and claims-made coverage?

An occurrence policy covers claims arising from the insured’s services during the policy period, regardless of when a claim is made. A tail is never necessary when the policy is canceled.

A claims-made policy covers claims incurred and reported only during the time the policy is in effect.

What is the difference between tail and nose coverage?

Tail coverage is purchased from the current insurer upon termination of a claims-made policy to cover any claims that arise.

Prior acts (nose) coverage is purchased from the new insurance carrier when a primary policy is purchased. The cost of nose coverage is factored into the claims-made premium.

How do I obtain an application for enrollment in the VAP Program?

Go to the website www.hicgroup.com. At the top of the screen, click on “Insurance” and download the Voluntary Attending Physician application. Complete the application and attach a copy of your New York State license and declaration pages (primary and excess) from your current insurer.

How long does it take to place the coverage?

It usually takes two to three weeks.