Clinic & Organization FAQs on Physician Volunteerism Program

What about malpractice insurance for volunteers?

Questions about malpractice insurance are the No. 1 concern for clinics and potential volunteers alike. For clinics, there are some free or inexpensive and straightforward ways to address this issue.

1. Find out if the potential volunteer is already covered through a current policy.

Most working physicians’ coverage already includes coverage for volunteer work outside their regular place of employment. Other volunteer physicians may have chosen to purchase their own coverage. Coverage for a physician’s volunteer work is available in Minnesota from private insurers. Contact information for those insurers is listed below.

2. See if your clinic’s current insurance covers volunteer providers.

A quick check with your insurance agent should give you this answer. You might also explore with your agent the cost of including such coverage.

At least one PVP-participating clinic, an FQHC, purchases a wrap-around policy that covers volunteer providers.

N.B. – The Federal Tort Claims Act DOES NOT protect individual volunteer providers from malpractice suits.

3. Participate in the State of Minnesota’s Volunteer Health Care Provider program.

The program was established for the purpose of facilitating the provision of healthcare to those who are uninsured or underinsured and offers malpractice coverage for physicians and other health care providers who volunteer their services.

Health Care Organizations and volunteer physicians apply annually. The cost is $50 for organizations. There is no cost to physicians, but they must be affiliated with a participating health care organization. Application materials for both physicians and health care organizations can be found on the State of Minnesota’s Administrative Services website.

Organizations can apply any time during the year. Registration expires each year on September 30, so annual re-registration is required for continuous coverage.

Volunteer providers can also apply any time during the year. Annual registration for providers should be completed by April 30 for annual registration for the year beginning May 1.

For additional information on the State of Minnesota’s Health Care Provider Program contact:

Juli Vangsness
Director Administrative Services | Administrative Services Unit
Health Related Licensing Boards
2829 University Avenue SE, Suite #445
Minneapolis, MN 55414
P: 651-201-2732
F: 612-617-2125

4. Individual volunteer physicians may purchase their own private insurance to cover their work as a volunteer provider. 

Policies providing malpractice coverage with special rates for volunteer providers are offered by the following insurers:

Ed Whitver MBA, CMPE
Director of Market Relations - Iowa
Direct:  720-858-6181
Cell:  515-419-7809

MedPro Group
Contact: Michael J Mitchell
AVP Midwest Region
P O Box 25859
Woodbury, MN 55125
Office: 651-735-7655
Cell:  952-240-0985

Pro Assurance
Contact Tony Angelo

Request application information from: 
Luke Benshoof
Business Support Coordinator
7701 France Avenue South, Suite 500
Edina, MN 55435

Because each organization and volunteer has particular needs and wants, we think that the volunteer and the organization are in the best positions to assess whether their relationship will be fulfilling, impactful, and provide a good experience for all involved. For that reason, we encourage interested volunteers to contact the organization directly.

PVP collects and publishes information about volunteer opportunities on its website. PVP promotes the program and the PVP website to physicians throughout Minnesota through email, in on-line and print ads, and through presentations to individuals and groups of physicians. PVP also exhibits at selected physician and health care conferences. If you would like to arrange a presentation about PVP, please contact Kristen Gloege, MMAF CEO.