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GPs go forth

Ridiculous indemnity costs? How GPs can take back control

Dr Anu Patel and Dr Alastair Catto explain

As all GPs are aware, the indemnity crisis is spiralling out of control. Indemnity costs have been rising dramatically over the last few years, which has led to some GPs dropping expensive out of hours work and therefore a recruitment crisis for out of hours providers.

Anu is a GP who annually spends several days toing and froing and obtaining quotes from MDOs in order to get the best indemnity deal. This is a frustrating process which raises many questions. Here are a few important questions that we couldn’t find answers to, which we are sure many other GPs share:

  • How do you know if you’re paying too much for your medical indemnity?
  • If you want to switch, who is best to get a quote from?
  • Is there a quicker way to get quotes without tedious forms or spending vast amounts of time on the phone with insurers?
  • Some people seem to always get the best deals, how do you get inside information and why isn’t it all transparent?

How can we solve the indemnity crisis if we don’t have the answers to these questions? After extensive discussions with a broad range of experts, we found that we could answer these questions if we worked together to compare indemnity costs.

Hence, indemi was born.

What does indemi currently offer?

After filling out a two minute form, registered GPs can see what indemi members of similar risk pay for indemnity. As more members join, the risk groups are refined giving you more and more information. This will hopefully allow GPs to:

indemi barometer

1. Immediately know how your price stacks up: You get an instant indication of how much you’re paying compared to your similar peers. Everything is visual and transparent, with the ‘price barometer’, showing green for a low and red for high.

2. Find the best deal for your risk: If you’re interested in switching, you can instantly see which MDOs are usually best for your type of risk. The ‘box and whisker’ graph shows you which MDO could get you a better quote. You can also ‘explode boxes’ to see the fully transparent method for constructing these graphs and how you compare.

The more members we have, the more accurate the grouping and narrower the spreads. Our testing revealed an average saving of £1,000 per GP.

indemi box and whisker

3. Get the tips and tricks: You get access to the inside info and tricks from your peers on how to get a better deal. You can see how others get better deals at the moment (and we have seen all sorts of ways to cut indemnity costs) and you can add tips to help your fellow GPs.

Indemi undertakes the highest level of data security available currently and will continue to do so at a high level (HIPAA compliance level). Identifiable data is not shared with any parties whatsoever. Non-identifiable data, particularly aggregated crunched data will be used for the goals outlined below.

What is our goal?

To rapidly assist the indemnity crisis with data visualisation and aggregated risk data. We aim to do this in three ways.

1. Short Term – Price Comparison. Provide every GP quick access to information regarding which MDO has best price for their risk criteria to save money.

2. Medium Term – Indemnity Efficiencies. The MDOs provide an excellent service and indemi supports these mutuals. Members switching will enable MDOs to focus on value and customer experience for the risk segments they service the best. Legal changes coming soon which will set criteria for the quality and boundaries of any new entrant (and current) medical indemnity offering. Indemi is considering assisting new entrants to the market, for example by setting criteria for the high quality and a broad scope of new offerings.

3. Long Term – Risk Reduction. Work with key stakeholders – NHS, BMA, MDOs and other insurers, to use aggregated and entirely anonymised data to work out how to reduce risk and solve the escalating indemnity payout crisis. The data can help to find ways to reduce the global risk. For example, risk data helped enable the hybrid NHS crown indemnity cover for OOH GP services in Wales.

We aim to develop more services that help the professional and personal lives of medics. The comparison tool will always remain free to use for all doctors and indemi currently does not make money from it. We see our additional services providing added value to members which in turn may provide revenue via third parties to sustain the service.

With our data, real solutions can be formulated and deployed to ensure fairness to doctors and enable doctors to carry out certain roles (e.g. OOH) thus bolstering service provision. We hope we can make a significant and positive impact on the current indemnity issues.


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Readers' comments (10)

  • In priniciple, of course, it shouln't matter too much. If all GPs have to pay an extra £5000 in indemnity fees, the DDRB would automatically award all GPs an extra £5000. In practice, of course, the DDRB has been leaned on by government not to award the correct amount, and the government has refused to award the full DDRB recommended amount anyway... But if the system were working as it was designed to...

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  • You can't do anything. You will end up being bullied by your provider into putting your and all locums names and gmc numbers on your doors and website as this is good practice, into having a policy to chase every person who has a due b12 or contraceptive injection and having a written policy for dealing with scripts that have not been collected or outlining a policy to ensure every patient takes his medication at home.
    Try changing the Provider and you will have 10 cases which are still 'pending' and you won't be able to escape the net. They have you by the balls and only escape is ditch the profession. With Lords sitting in their midst even the Parliament is impotent and hence GPs continue to pay while all other NHS staff are covered by the government. We are the whores of NHS, we do it for free.

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  • We pride ourselves on having a wonderful socialised medical system and yet we make our doctors pay private indemnity costs that are going through the roof, I know 2 colleagues paying £20,000 plus!! The MDOs say they are non-profit making but like all these so called companies they pay their board/senior members huge salaries so they qualify as not for profit companies! If you work for the government you should be covered by the government! Crown indemnity should be available for ALL doctors of the NHS!!

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  • Crown Indemnity. There is no other way as we are part of the NHS. It is ludicrous that a paediatrician pays 10x less than I do for cover. Anyway, we can be risk averse just refer and investigate and prescribe more to make up for their "savings". After all if one saves money and something happens they will blame you for not doing enough or for not referring.

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  • Comparing and then changing indemnity providers will reduce costs for a short while only, as all such costs will eventually catch up. There seems to be a misunderstanding amongst most writers that we are a part of the NHS. We are NOT. We are officially, INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS. We are like the electricity providers, the gas providers, the cleaning providers etc. Under these circumstances we are NOT entitled to any crown indemnity cover. The options are, change the contract or resign. We are like the builder who builds your extension or your home under a contract. We are like TESCO or SAINSBURY but without any tills. Only when all GPs become desperate will there be change. At this moment the general GP attitude is " I'm all right Jack, thank you".
    Humbly, retired GP.

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  • Hmm I feel that someone needs to take the insurance companies by the horns.
    Let me see one has to have compulsory road traffic insurance dictated by the thieving insurance companies, they are now doing the same for medical indemnity, instituting their own levels of cost

    Where this is compulsory then the have to justify and should do so in front of parliament or I would put the in the same bet as the theiving (w)bankers there is no justification for both groups to behave like they do. Government you want something else to do look at the number of charities and what the pay their bosses no justification for them either

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  • GMC FEE Should be covered by the crown aswell .. they do nothing for doctors..

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  • indemnity fee going up ... will have to reduce work done then ... This will be counterproductive .. Appreciate that as the system collapses understrain .. the risk for the remaining doctors gets higher

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  • How many companies are there to choose from? Do people remember Paul indemnity?
    The use of this app. Is completely ridiculous.

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  • we have 3 companies to chose from - it's a MONOPOLY - last year the MDDUS was 7200 - this year 8500 - why ? so they can pay themselves and their lawyers more - open it up to the market - bring in no claims bonus

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