Medical Malpractice Minute — November 2018

Watch this brief video to learn the most interesting thing in medical professional liability this month — Berkshire Hathaway’s acquisition of MLMIC:

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ISMIE Mutual Announces New Osteopathic Partnerships

ISMIE Mutual Insurance Co. has partnered with the Indiana Osteopathic Association (IOA) and the Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association (POMA). Through the program, IOA and POMA members will receive access to ISMIE’s risk management program, discount credits and other benefits that come with ISMIE coverage. New physicians coming out of residency will also be eligible for special discounted coverage.

“We are enthusiastic about entering into these new partnerships,” said ISMIE Chairman Paul H. DeHaan, MD. “We expect osteopaths will be drawn by our favorable pricing, but it’s our customer service, superior claims support and topnotch risk management program that will help ISMIE build loyalty with osteopaths.”

ISMIE provides medical professional liability insurance, offering products that maximize protection and minimize worry. Founded by physicians in 1976, ISMIE remains physician-led. ISMIE Mutual is an admitted carrier in 11 states and the District of Columbia, and protects professionals and facilities in all 50 states through its subsidiary ISMIE Indemnity.

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Cooperative of American Physicians Announces Hire of Thomas Mortimer

The Cooperative of American Physicians, Inc. (CAP) today announced the new hire of Thomas Mortimer in the role of senior account executive, adding a depth of industry knowledge and experience to the CAP sales team. Mortimer will report to Daniel Cavanaugh, CAP vice president of membership development. 

A well-known figure in the medical malpractice coverage space, Mortimer is trusted by members of both the physician and insurance industries and brings considerable expertise to his new role. He served as assistant vice president of SCPIE from 1991 to 1995 before becoming vice president of the MMI Insurance Agency through 2000. Two years as sales director of St. Paul Global Health Care followed, before starting Thomas Mortimer Insurance Services, Inc. in 2002.

“Our mission at CAP is to provide an outstanding level of guidance and service to our members, and we’ve developed an exceptional team to fulfill that promise,” said Sarah Pacini, CAP chief executive officer. “Thomas Mortimer brings a wealth of knowledge to the CAP sales team, and has long been a trusted partner to both the physician and insurance industries.”

“Over the past 30 years, I’ve had the good fortune to work with talented, passionate individuals in both the insurance and health care industries,” said Mortimer. “My position at CAP offers a fantastic opportunity to pull from both skill sets to provide the highest level of guidance and care for CAP physicians, and by extension, countless patients.”

Mortimer entered his new role on November 1.  

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ISMIE Mutual Adds Brad Ash to Medical Liability Executive Leadership Team

ISMIE Mutual Insurance Co. announced Charles Bradley (Brad) Ash has joined the company’s management team as a senior vice president, reporting to Wayne de Nazarie, executive vice president.

Ash brings extensive experience within the medical liability insurance industry, most recently serving as chief executive officer of Aon Affinity Healthcare in Pennsylvania. Prior to that, he was a senior vice president with responsibilities including underwriting and business development for The Doctors Company, where he also served on its executive review and high exposure (claims) committees. In addition, Ash held positions at COPIC in Colorado for many years, working on operational and strategic initiatives, including geographic expansion and new product lines and platforms.

In his new position, Ash will have senior management oversight for ISMIE’s Sales and Underwriting Divisions.

“We are pleased to welcome Brad, an experienced medical liability insurance executive with a track record that supports all aspects of ISMIE’s continuing expansion throughout the United States,” said ISMIE chairman Paul H. DeHaan, MD. “Brad will play a central role in building new business opportunities and helping lead ISMIE’s strategic direction.”

Ash is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin and earned an MBA from the University of Colorado. He holds the professional designations of Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) and Registered Professional Liability Underwriter (RPLU).

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ISMIE Mutual Admitted in Ohio

ISMIE Mutual Insurance Co. announced that Ohio insurance regulators have granted the company admitted status, another important step in the leading medical professional liability carrier’s national expansion.

With this recent development, ISMIE is able to offer Ohio physicians, health professionals and medical entities of all types wide-ranging medical liability coverage and access to its risk management products, cyber liability protection and claims services.

“The Midwest is our home territory, and achieving admitted status in Ohio is a milestone for ISMIE,” said ISMIE chairman Paul H. DeHaan, MD. “Some of the world’s leading medical professionals practice medicine in Ohio. ISMIE supports innovators across the country with the best medical liability protection and risk management products available, and ISMIE is well known to Ohio distribution partners. We expect to grow many long-term partnerships in this market in the years to come.”

With the addition of Ohio, ISMIE Mutual is now an admitted carrier in 11 states and the District of Columbia, and through its ISMIE Indemnity subsidiary protects professionals in all 50 states.

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A.M. Best Upholds Superior Rating of the Cooperative of American Physicians Mutual Protection Trust

The Cooperative of American Physicians, Inc. (CAP) today announced that the outstanding financial strength of its core product, the Mutual Protection Trust (MPT), has again earned an A+ (Superior) Rating from A.M. Best Company, a global full-service credit rating agency dedicated to serving the financial and healthcare service industries. This marks the twelfth-consecutive year MPT has achieved this rating. 

As part of its grading report, A.M. Best praised MPT for its sound invested asset base, ability to access capital at any time via member assessments, and the financial flexibility and capital strength that it maintains. The report also highlights CAP’s “favorable market position in California as the second-largest provider of MPL coverage in the state.”  

“For 12 years now, our MPT product has earned an A+ Rating from A.M. Best, a testament to the collective efforts of a team that is committed to supporting its physician members and their financial health in the most effective way possible,” says CAP CEO Sarah Pacini.

At the same time, A.M. Best acknowledged the financial strength of the Cooperative of American Physicians Insurance Company, Inc. (CAPIC), which earned a rating of A- (Excellent).  CAPIC is a wholly owned subsidiary of CAP and provides reinsurance and other benefits to CAP and its primary medical professional liability partner, MPT.

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QBE North America Creates New Healthcare Unit

Specialist insurer QBE North America has created a new healthcare unit that will be led by Cindy Oard, senior vice president, underwriting leader.

The unit, QBE Integrated Advantage for Healthcare, is comprised of healthcare professionals in underwriting, claims, and risk solutions. The team will provide a multi-line solution, including management liability, medical malpractice as well as property, auto and workers’ comp coverage.

“By integrating a single specialised team, dedicated to the healthcare market, we provide integrated solutions for our customers,” said Oard. “And through our specialisation, we are responsive in applying our expertise and coverages to create the best solution possible.”

The dedicated healthcare team’s range of coverages includes workers’ compensation, facultative reinsurance of captives, medical malpractice, general liability, auto among others.

Russell Johnston, CEO of QBE North America, added: “Healthcare is arguably one the largest parts of the US economy, it’s growing faster than almost any other segment in the US economy and in order to service this segment well, it requires a level of applied expertise that most companies don’t deliver.”

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AAOS Celebrates Passage of the Sports Medicine Licensure Clarity Act

The American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) celebrated the Senate passage of the Sports Medicine Licensure Clarity Act on October 3 as part of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 (H.R.302). The legislation, which AAOS has advocated for since 2015, provides legal protection for traveling team physicians and safeguards injured athletes’ timely access to healthcare professionals who best know their medical history. The bill now heads to the president’s desk to be signed into law.

“For too long, team physicians have had to choose between treating patients at great professional risk or handing over care,” said David A. Halsey, MD,AAOS president. “The licensure clarity act now ensures their protection, and we thank Congress for supporting this critical legislation. Its passage represents years of hard work trying to get it across the finish line and it is a significant win—not only for practicing sports medicine professionals, but also for the large percentage of orthopaedists involved in the treatment and care of sports-related injuries.”

AAOS advocacy efforts began in 2015 when, in consultation with sports medicine groups like the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM), we called on Congress to address this all too common scenario. In an op-ed for The Hill’s Congress Blog, we described the proposed legislation as a “common sense solution,” noting that it did not bypass state licensing rules and regulations or allow a medical professional to practice on the general population. The legislation simply clarifies that health care services provided in a secondary state will be covered by the professional’s medical liability insurance and deemed to have been provided in the professional’s primary state of licensure.

“Our patients deserve the same high-quality care we can provide at home as they do when traveling across state lines,” said Wilford K. Gibson, MD,AAOS Council on Advocacy chair. “This was a long-fought effort, but well worth it. Passage of the bill means we can continue providing care to hundreds of thousands of athletes, now in a seamless, effective way.”
The Senate bill (S.808) was introduced in April 2017 by Sens. John Thune (R-SD) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). The House version (H.R.302) passed in January 2017 and was introduced by Reps. Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Cedric Richmond (D-LA).

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California Enacts First-In-Nation Law Requiring Doctors To Tell Patients When They Are On Probation

Doctors in California will have to be honest with their patients if they are on probation for sexual assault or other egregious patient harm under legislation, SB 1448 by Senator Jerry Hill, that was signed by the Governor yesterday.

The first-in-the-nation law requires doctors to disclose before a patient’s appointment if they are on probation ordered by the Medical Board of California for causing patient harm in four categories: sexual misconduct with a patient, drug or alcohol use, overprescribing prescription drugs or criminal convictions.

“This law is a tremendous first step toward the transparency that patients desperately need to make safe decisions about their healthcare. Doctors who harm patients have for too long been allowed to continue practicing with their disciplinary history hidden in the shadows. This law will finally require the minority of doctors who commit egregious misconduct to be honest with their patients,” said Carmen Balber, executive director of Consumer Watchdog.

According to the California Research Bureau, doctors who have been disciplined in the past have a 30-percent chance of reoffending.

“If we learned anything from the Me Too movement it’s that hiding misconduct perpetuates harm. Now, patients will be informed before they choose a doctor disciplined for overprescribing opioids to treat their substance abuse issues, or send their daughter to a doctor on probation for sex offenses. We have a right to know,” said Balber.

Consumer Watchdog said the new law will not inform patients when their doctor is disciplined for negligence that kills a patient, a reform the legislature must revisit next year.

The bill takes effect on July 1, 2019. In addition to doctors, the new law also applies to healthcare providers licensed by the Osteopathic Medical Board of California, California Board of Podiatric Medicine, the Naturopathic Medicine Committee, the State Board of Chiropractic Examiners and the Acupuncture Board.

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NORCAL Group Foundation Opens Fall Grant Cycle Applications Now Being Accepted

The NORCAL Group Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides funding and support for healthcare initiatives focused on patient care, patient safety and physician wellness, is now accepting grant applications for qualifying programs through Oct. 15.

Since its inception in 2017, the Foundation has provided grants and support for 13 worthy organizations and programs focused on the betterment of healthcare in their communities.

More information on eligibility and the application process can be found at norcalgroupfoundation.org. Applications are being accepted between Sept. 1 and Oct. 15 for this cycle.

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