From the monthly archives: June 2013

We are pleased to present below all posts archived in 'June 2013'. If you still can't find what you are looking for, try using the search box.

Trending now in Medical Malpractice insurance....increase in the average claim of misdiagnosis

According to Crittenden Medical Malpractice Insurance Newsletter, the malpractice insurance industry is going to experience an increase in the number of large jury verdicts. By large jury verdicts, the newsletter is referencing settlements of 10 Million or more.  Many of these, actually, almost all of these are appealed down or not even paid out due to the entity or group filing bankruptcy…however the verdicts that are appealed and still require payout still are depleting the reserves of the industry. The number of these claims is still low enough to not immediately effect the reserves and the financial health of the malpractice industry; however, if the claims per 100 of doctors (the frequency) of the claims picks up, then there will likely be trouble for insurers as many have underpriced thee exposures that they are carrying.  Many of the large jury awards are in the core specialties, surgical and facility specialties, which are still performing well for the medical malpractice insura ...
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Employment Practices Liability

Employment practices lawsuits can be extremely expensive and damaging to any business. With the healthcare landscape essentially exploding, there will be a growing period of expansion and hiring.  And, that usually means more claims in the employment practices liability area.

Since 1997 the average employment practices claim has increased from $35,000 to $200,000. Understanding and complying with employment management protocol, law and best practices  helps managers do the right thing and can help minimize an organization’s exposure to employment practices liability claims.

Employment Practices Standards

Preventing employment discrimination from occurring in the workplace means understanding what is expected as an employer and providing employees with resources to enable them to work in a professional environment. Many offices just think that if they continue to treat everyone well, to act intuitively then everything will be fine;   maintaining a professional work environment means more than that.

It is having policies and procedures that managers and employees understand and follow. Managers and employees should receive documented training in these policies and procedures — then they can be held accountable if they deviate from any of the established practices.  Our insurance carriers can help you understand employment practices trends and your responsibilities as a manager, business owners.

You will want to focus on loss trends and areas of employment practices claims. Below is a summary of areas that account for a majority of claims.

  • Wrongful discharge – 39%
  • Discrimination – 27%
  • Harassment – 16%

To help you control these exposures, there are  guidelines  to assist you in implementing the appropriate controls to prevent an employment practices claim and to provide your employees with a fair work environment. Employment practices have many nuances that require competent legal assistance and management training. One note: when we reference using an attorney’s services for employment practices, it is strongly advised that you hire an attorney that specializes in employment law and one that practices within your state. Labor laws can vary depending on state laws and venues.

Did you know that besides your actual policy, an important piece to your Employment Practices Liability Program are the Risk Management Services that are generally included with most Employment Practices Liability policies?

This is an area of practice management that goes unattended in many medical groups, you can work with your insurance carrier to teach the physicians, to teach the staff managers how to avoid being named in a liability claim.

Just as with medical malpractice risk management points, there are simple one hour ‘in service’ sessions, online webinars, resources that can be used at no additional cost

Such services can include important and valuable things like:

  •  Telephone support such as a toll free “hotline” which you may utilize to pose any employment related questions.
  •  Educational webinars, training seminars and audio meetings on a variety of topics.  Some topics might be geared to management and others to non-management employees. 
  • Web-based support materials including employment forms, samples of job descriptions and performance review forms, etc.
  • Newsletters and emails providing important and changing information related to employment law.

These services are  often overlooked by policyholders and yet are a vital piece to your total employment practices program.  Inquire today as to what Risk Management Services are included with your policy!

 

Growth in the physician market.

Where can a physician look to make money? Obviously, reimbursements are cut from private payers to government agencies, from managed care organizations to medicare, physicians are being asked to work harder and provide more services for less dollars. Consequently, physicians are taking work in other areas to enhance their net pay. There are, of course, medical malpractice insurance ramifications in this area. The five common areas we see physicians taking on extra work in order to retain a challenging practice with the chance to increase their net pay are the following: Concierge Medical  Practices Utilization Review for State’s Workers Compensation Medical Director for Nursing homes, Medical Homes, Surgery Centers and Medispas Investing in Surgery Centers Independent Contractor work for Hospitalist groups Telemedicine Consultations. According to Crittenden, Physicians are moving to the concierge model very quickly in an ...
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Professional Liability Insurance for healthcare facilities, diagnostic centers and medical directors.

We insure many miscellaneous medical professional liability risks. Risks is used commonly in the insurance business to describe potential and existing clients….after all, to the insurance underwriter, everything is measured in ‘Risk’. Our agency has been insuring physicians and paramedical providers for years.   As healthcare continues to evolve, in the midst of this revolution and overhaul to this enormous part of our nation’s economy, innovations continue. We use a national network of insurance carriers to assist us in finding the right policy for the right professional liability risk: Innovations in healthcare need insurance policies: The innovations require insurance.  Often times, the answer financially to the frustrations felt by so many bright, trained, educated physicians is to find something else to work on: to find another rewarding and challenging opportunity; an innovation in medicine. Pharmaceutical companies are hiring and contracting for services, Workers com ...
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