NICA ensures that birth-injured children and adults receive the care they need while reducing the financial burden on medical providers and families.
Guidelines for Participating Physicians
Participation in the NICA program provides eligible children with lifetime benefits for catastrophic claims resulting from certain birth-related neurological injuries, without involving the child’s family and physicians in the expense or ordeal of lengthy litigation. Claims are resolved in a timely manner without assessment of fault. In order to participate, a physician must:
- Be licensed to practice medicine in Florida
- Practice obstetrics or perform obstetrical services on a full- or part-time basis; and
- Have paid, or been exempted from paying, the required assessment when the incident occurred.
The NICA Plan is funded by annual assessments to participating physicians and hospitals. OB/GYN physicians and midwives are eligible to participate in the NICA Plan by paying the required $5,000 fee each calendar year. Participating medical providers can now pay online.
Florida law requires that participating physicians and hospitals that have participating physicians on staff give notice of NICA program participation to all obstetrical patients. NICA’s Peace of Mind Brochure satisfies the notice requirement of Florida law. The brochure is available free of charge from NICA in 13 different languages.
- 'Peace of Mind’ Brochure in 13 Languages
- Brochure Request Form
- Welcome Brochure PDF
- Patient Procedures Checklist / Schedule for Prenatal Care
Physicians and hospitals should rely upon their own legal counsel's interpretation of Section 766.316, Florida Statutes, with regard to providing notice and timeliness of notice, and actions to take in the event a patient refuses to acknowledge receipt of this notice.
Welcome to NICA
The Freedom to Focus on Patient Care
Thank you for participating in the NICA Plan. We hope you never need the services to which you are entitled, but if you do, we can help resolve catastrophic claims for birth-related injuries without lengthy and costly malpractice litigation.
Awards made through the NICA Plan are exclusive. If an injury is covered by NICA, the child and his/her family are not entitled to compensation through lawsuits. The cost of lifetime care for birth-injured children is paid by NICA without assessment of fault.
By providing an alternative to malpractice lawsuits, NICA participation offers the freedom to focus on patient care.
NICA Plan Coverage
Florida’s innovative alternative to malpractice litigation offers unique protection from lengthy, costly lawsuits. To help NICA work for you and your practice, you must follow a few basic steps:
- Pay the annual NICA participation fee.
- Inform your patients of your participation in the NICA
Plan by using the brochure provided by NICA,
entitled "Peace of Mind" – and obtain their signed
acknowledgment of this notice.
- In the event a patient should decline to sign an
acknowledgment form, you or your office administrative
staff should document the time, date, and the person
who gave the brochure provided by NICA to the patient.
- Maintain files documenting the fact that you have
given every patient timely notice of your participation
in the NICA Plan.
There are other ways to maximize the protection offered to you by NICA, and other valuable services we can provide. Please contact us or visit our website to learn more about the NICA Plan.
Make The Most Of Your NICA Participation
Paying the annual NICA participation fee is the first step in obtaining NICA coverage. But it’s not the only requirement. Florida courts have ruled that physicians must give timely notice of their participation in the NICA Plan to their patients. This notice must be documented in your files.
Sample acknowledgment forms are available from NICA for your use in complying with these requirements.
These forms may be ordered from NICA or downloaded from the NICA website, www.nica.com.
Acknowledgment forms should be signed by both the patient and the participating physician, or a member of the physician’s staff. Copies of all signed forms should be kept on file in the physician’s office to document that notice of NICA participation has been provided.
With the exception of certain emergencies, notice of NICA participation must be "timely." While Florida Statutes provide no specific definition of this requirement, NICA recommends that notice be given as soon as reasonably possible.
In order to help physicians provide notice of NICA participation to patients whose native language is not English, NICA can provide brochures and acknowledgment forms in Spanish, Haitian, and other languages. These are also available on request from NICA, or they may be downloaded here.
Office Procedures Schedule
Including NICA notice and documentation procedures in your office’s standard practices and procedures is as important as paying the annual NICA participation fee. As an additional service to participating physicians, NICA has compiled a "Schedule of Prenatal Care" which includes the NICA notice in checklist format.
NICA is an innovative and effective alternative to costly malpractice litigation.
The NICA Plan, supported in part by participating OBGYN’s, is augmented by annual assessments paid by all Florida physicians and hospitals. Money is made available from the NICA Plan to pay for the care of children with certain birth-related neurological injuries specified by law.
For more information, visit the Non-Participating Physicians page.