What are we doing ‘selling’ insurance at a time when so many of us can obtain it online.

We are advocating, learning, listening and speaking for you, our clients.  Every day, our agents are working with physicians to properly define and represent their practice to underwriting.  This is to make sure that not only is the premium is appropriately competitive, in synch with this capital abundant market, to also make sure that the entire practice is insured to the extent that is necessary. Physicians are joining large organizations, forming alliances, buying and selling practices, there is not only the business of practicing medicine that incurs risk, but also the business off running a practice,  making decisions, acting appropriately fairly to partners and future partners.  We, at our insurance Agency in California can help you analyze it all, to represent you to the underwriters and ultimately to provide you the most competitive premium available to include all of the risk that rises to practices and administrators.  (yes, administrators can be included under the entity, ...
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Imaging Centers, Surgery Centers, MedSpas and Endoscopy Labs

Imaging Centers, Surgery Centers, Medical Spas and Endoscopy Labs,  all share the same thing in common: there are many ways to insure them.  You should have a separate limit, protecting the entity on its own.  The limits of the physicians should be protected from the liability and vicarious exposure that is presented to them from the multiple use facility.   This is to say that there are many physicians, there are employees and other contracted workers whom come in contact with these facilities.  If all of the physicians are in one medical group, then, the cost effective insurance solution is to simply add a separate limit to their policy, which is done by adding a percentage of premium to each physician.  The more flexible method if the physicians need to open the facility (and this goes for pathology labs as well) is to write a separate limit that is inclusive of the employees and independent contract (non MD personnel) whom work at the facility.  This way you are protec ...
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EMR and Social Media Medical Malpractice Liability Considerations:

Electronic Medical Records are eventually going to become incorporated into every medical practice. With this implementation of a practice’s electronic health record systems come additional risks.  The Doctors’ Insurance Agency represents The Doctors’ Company for  medical  malpractice insurance, and, thus, would like too shared the information available to manage risk and control the high cost of data breach. Each week, as an insured physician with The Doctors’ Company, you will have access to more studies and reviews of claims and information about new technologies. No where is this more prevalent than in the areas of electronic medical records and social media applications.  Practices now have electronic connections to labs, surgery centers, hospitals, imaging and endoscopy centers, these electronic connections open up opportunities to lose or leak the data.  Moreover, if patient harm results from lack of or incorrect information than the doctor and his / he ...
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What does the cost of Thunderstorms in the MidWest have to do with my Medical Malpractice Insurance Premiums:

The Sever Thunderstorms that struck the United States from May 20 – May 27th will result in insured losses to residential, commercial and industrial properties and their contents, and to automobiles of between 4 Billion and 7 Billion,   Sever thunderstorms in Texas and Arkansas and Oklahoma brought high winds, hail and tornadoes; there were more than 150 confirmed tornadoes across the country, affecting more than 20 states.  Thousands of buildings were damaged, hundreds more were completely destroyed and more than a thousand people were injured.   This is important because…..because every insurance company, including medical malpractice insurance companies develops their premiums by factoring a few variables:  The amount of money that they have in reserve and surplus (TDC is very strong, hence it’s newly reissued A rating by A.M. Best, They track the frequency of claims (the number of law suits filed in total against physician insureds); and they track the amount ...
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Embezzlement by employees has become more rampant than ever before. Whether you are a physician or a practice executive, you are at risk;

Judy Capko, a healthcare consultant for over 20 years, explains Best Practices: 12 Steps to Avoid Embezzlement in Your Medical Practice We list the best practices suggestions as we have seen an increase in embezzlement in our insured medical practices. She explains (or confirms) what all physicians and administrators have experienced, the loss is sometimes insurmountable because it takes any margin that physicians might have had to build their practice and invest in their own technology; Plus it is emotionally devastating as it involves a breach of trust. In the situations that we have seen in the Northern California Doctors Insurance Agency, those caught embezzling almost always have the most trust of the physician owners.  The fact is that you simply must have automatic, routine, monthly and quarterly financial disciplines in order to stay ahead of this crime. Eliminate casual handling of cash I have observed a number of practices where finances are handled casually and create temptation for future em ...
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Employing Physicians and Job Satisfaction among the ranks...

There has been an understandable and easily identifiable shift in practices from 2002 to 2009; Physicians are signing on as employees,  they are selling practices or they are just not ever considering going into private practice at all. In the recent survey, over 49 % of reporting practices were hospital or system owned.  This is a significant increase (almost double) from 2002.  As a malpractice insurance agency, advocating for comprehensive medical malpractice insurance coverage in California, we have to stay on top of the trends that may lead to increased claims. Use of remote technology, an increase in patients due to the healthcare reform act (millions more now eligible to receive medical care) and less connection to the patients (presumed with an employer model) may result in an increase in frequency.   Physicians across the country, not just in California, are moving to an employee model of medical practice.  So, naturally, the important issue of incentivizing physicia ...
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Ob/Gyn's should discuss their practice profile

As the industry moves into another year of flat and reducing rates for medical malpractice insurance, our agency focuses on continuing to advocate for the broadest, malpractice insurance coverage possible.  Industry analysts predict that the cost of defense and the cost of settlement will continue to rise even as the frequency of claims may decrease.  It may seem like the low rates and competitive nature of the medical malpractice insurance industry are here for years to come, mimicking a sort of permanence, but there are indications that it is time to be vigilant. There are some signs in Pennsylvania that this is the case already.  Some insurance carriers are applying to increase premiums even while the number of claims hovers lower than the year 2000.  In 2010, Pennsylvania reported 1,491 claims compared to the years 2000 – 2002 when the state experienced over 2,000 filings.  In some jurisdictions, cases regularly settled for more than $ 5,000,000; while in others defens ...
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According to Victoria Stagg Elliott, American Medical News: Practices develop new payment system for uninsured

Some offices, in an attempt to make office based charges more affordable and more transparent, are developing concierge style billing and services. Patients pay a monthly, quarterly or annual fee and in return receive basic primary care services.   The 'concierge' fees are lower and the services more basic, primary care.

Practices develop different approaches to this method...Some require an office co payment to shift some of the costs. Some practices require a one year commitment to plan on some revenue.

Most practices set a maximum number of visits and some require a sign up, initiation fee.  Practices must be careful not to structure services in a way to assume risk,  this would be too similar to insurance.

Creating a discount membership program for the uninsured is a marvelous way to fulfill your commitment to caring for people who cant afford insurance.  

We will continue to bring you low cost direct coverage with the most comprehensive terms.

No mergers with large international agencies, brokerages or risk management consultants at The Doctors’ Insurance Agency. We are still the same familiar faces, with the same length of time and duty in this particular niche of the insurance industry. Whether you are in Sacramento or Santa Cruz, Santa Monica or San Francisco, our eight TDC trained and licensed insurance agents will continue to bring you low cost direct coverage with the most comprehensive terms. At this time, with the medical professional liability market on the brink of change, with rate projections and losses projected into the future, you should have the most experienced and direct representation that you can find. There are many signs that indicate that the health care arena will change significantly resulting in more losses and higher rates. Universal Health care, Hospital Consolidation and tort reversals are the leading contributors.  Reserves for the medical professional liability industry are still very healthy; although ...
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Wage & Hour Coverage - Does your Employment Practices Liability Have It?

Wage & Hour coverage should be a part of your Employment Practices Liability Policy!  Wage & Hour Claims arise from employees’ or former employees’ allegations of violations of laws (Federal and/or State) of how they were or were not paid.  Such a claim would bring forth an allegation of unpaid overtime, unpaid vacation time, etc.  This is also where it is important that your employees are classified correctly as “Exempt” status or “Non-Exempt” status, which affects how wages are handled.  If an employee is classified incorrectly, the case can become quite technical and defense costs can skyrocket.  These cases can also be very expensive if settled.   Wage & Hour Coverage can be included in the policy form or added by endorsement.  Some carriers will charge additional premium for this coverage.  It is also, as a general underwriting rule, sublimited, to a limit of $100,000 or $250,000 for example, due to the nature of th ...
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