Fitch Ratings Affirms ‘A’ Ratings, ‘Stable’ Outlook for The Doctors Company

Fitch Ratings has affirmed its “A” (Strong) Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) ratings for The Doctors Company and its wholly owned insurance subsidiaries. Fitch also announced that the rating outlook for all ratings is “Stable.”

Fitch stated that the ratings are based on The Doctors Company’s historically strong profitability and underwriting performance, sufficient loss reserve levels and very strong statutory capital position. Fitch noted that The Doctors Company is one of the few primary medical professional liability companies positioned to offer products and capabilities that accommodate the trend of healthcare providers moving toward employment with hospitals and large medical groups.

The “A” with “Stable Outlook” ratings also include:

  • The Doctors Company, an Interinsurance Exchange
  • TDC Specialty Insurance Company
  • TDC National Assurance Company
  • The Doctors Company Risk Retention Group, a Reciprocal Exchange
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Bipartisan Bill Seeks to Study U.S. Rising Maternal Mortality Rate

U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito and Heidi Heitkamp recently introduced bipartisan legislation to help stop the rate of maternal deaths in the United States — which, unlike any other industrialized country, are on the rise.

Senators Capito and Heitkamp’s bipartisan bill would work to boost on-the-ground resources to combat this growing crisis by expanding maternal mortality review committees (MMRCs) that study and address the causes of maternal death cases to make pregnancies safe. Across the country, maternal mortality rates increased by an alarming 26 percent from 2000 to 2014 alone, yet MMRCs still do not exist in 18 states. In Native American Country, maternal mortality rates are staggering — occurring 1.5 times more often than the rest of the population.

By better supporting existing MMRCs and building such resources to other states, Senators Capito and Heitkamp are working to find out what is causing women in the U.S. to die from pregnancy complications more than any other developed country and reach solutions that prevent these deaths from happening. With better work to address this growing epidemic, the bill would help expecting mothers access the resources like hospital facilities — a growing challenge in rural communities — so they can have healthier pregnancies.

“The number of women dying in this country due to pregnancy complications is staggering — especially when you compare it to every other developed nation. Even worse is the sad fact that the number is growing,” Senator Capito said. “As a mother myself, I understand both the fears and the incredible joys that come with having a child. We absolutely have to get a handle on this problem, and the Maternal Health Accountability Act will help us better understand and address it.”

“When women in the United States are dying from pregnancy complications more than any other developed nation, we’re dealing with a health crisis,” Senator Heitkamp said. “There is no reason the United States should be the only industrialized country where maternal deaths are on the rise. That’s unacceptable, and we need to get to the bottom of why that’s happening – and fast – and find solutions. That’s exactly what our bipartisan bill would do. By expanding resources that work to study why pregnancy-related deaths are happening, we can better protect expecting mothers and families, and make sure they have access to the support, like rural hospitals, they need to for healthy pregnancies and to have healthy babies.”

“We’re very pleased to provide joint leadership with the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists for this effort and thank Senators Shelley Moore Capito and Heidi Heitkamp for introducing legislation that will drastically reduce maternal death and disability across the United States,” said Eleni Tsigas, executive director of the Preeclampsia Foundation.

“As Mother’s Day approaches, we cannot ignore the fact that the United States ranks 47th for its maternal mortality rate, and is the only industrialized nation with a rising rate,” said American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists President Haywood Brown, M.D. “Also, black moms in America are almost four times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related complication than white moms. This is unacceptable for our families and communities, especially considering most of these deaths are preventable. In order to fix the problem, we must understand why these tragic deaths are occurring. The Maternal Health Accountability Act will support local stakeholders in collecting critical data and creating locally-relevant public health solutions. ACOG applauds Sens. Heidi Heitkamp and Shelley Moore Capito for leading this effort for mothers and babies across the country.”

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A.M. Best Affirms A (Excellent) Rating for Coverys Companies

A.M. Best announced it has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A (Excellent) for Medical Professional Mutual Insurance Co. (ProMutual) wholly owned subsidiaries, ProSelect Insurance Cos. (ProSelect), Preferred Professional Insurance Co. (PPIC), Coverys Specialty Insurance Co. (Coverys Specialty) and its sponsored risk retention group, Coverys RRG, Inc.

In addition, Healthcare Underwriters Group, Inc. (HU), a Coverys company, has been assigned a Financial Strength Rating of A (Excellent). A.M. Best noted that the implementation of a quota share reinsurance agreement between HU and ProMutual provides substantial reinsurance support and new ownership gives HU policyholders access to Coverys’ patient safety and risk management programs.

“We are pleased with A.M. Best’s recognition and validation of Coverys’ financial standing,” said Gregg Hanson, CEO and president of Coverys. “Coverys’ financial strength is fundamental to the continued operational services providing policyholders progressive risk management and enhanced patient safety programs.”

“We are proud to receive an A Rating from A.M. Best for Healthcare Underwriters Group,” said Joshua Salman, CEO and president of HU. “The recognition showcases Coverys’ financial strength and the collective resources of Coverys companies and Healthcare Underwriters Group.”

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LAMMICO CEO Thomas H. Grimstad, MD, Announces Planned 2019 Retirement

After more than 20 years with LAMMICO, Thomas H. Grimstad, MD, has announced his retirement as president and CEO effective March 1, 2019. The Board of Directors has elected LAMMICO’s current Board chairman, J. Michael Conerly, MD, to succeed Grimstad as president and CEO.

Grimstad joined LAMMICO as a member of the Risk Management Committee in 1995 and was elected to the Board of Directors in 1998. He has also served on the Claims Committee and was appointed senior vice president of the Underwriting Committee in 1999. He served in that capacity until October 2005, when he became the senior vice president of LAMMICO’s Underwriting Department. In January 2008, Grimstad was named LAMMICO’s president and CEO.

Conerly is a long-standing member of LAMMICO leadership, having served as a member of numerous committees during the last 20 years. He was elected to his current role as chairman of the Board of Directors in 2011. Grimstad and Conerly will work closely together in the coming months through an established transition plan to ensure a smooth change in leadership. Upon his retirement, Grimstad will remain a member of the LAMMICO Board of Directors.

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ISMIE Mutual Adds Washington, D.C., to Coverage Map

ISMIE Mutual Insurance Co. announced today that Washington, D.C., is the latest coverage territory in the medical professional liability insurance company’s national expansion. 

Recently granted admitted status by the District’s Department of Insurance, Securities & Banking (DISB), the company will offer wide-ranging medical liability coverage for health professionals, groups and healthcare facilities. Health professionals in the District will now have access to ISMIE’s risk management program, cyber liability protection and claims services. 

“ISMIE and our broker partners are excited to serve the diverse range of medical professionals in the nation’s capital with a growing range of products and services available to ISMIE’s national audience,” said ISMIE chairman Paul H. DeHaan, MD. “We are looking forward to supporting new policyholders caring for patients throughout the District and expansion areas beyond.” 

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Financial Strength Rating Affirmation of Coverys Member Companies and Assigned Credit Rating to Healthcare Underwriters Group, Inc.

A.M. Best announced it has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A (Excellent) for Medical Professional Mutual Insurance Co. (ProMutual) wholly owned subsidiaries, ProSelect Insurance Cos. (ProSelect), Preferred Professional Insurance Co. (PPIC), Coverys Specialty Insurance Co. (Coverys Specialty) and its sponsored risk retention group, Coverys RRG, Inc.  

In addition, Healthcare Underwriters Group, Inc. (HU), a Coverys company, has been assigned a Financial Strength Rating of A (Excellent). A.M. Best noted that the implementation of a quota share reinsurance agreement between HU and ProMutual provides substantial reinsurance support and new ownership gives HU policyholders access to Coverys’ patient safety and risk management programs.

“We are pleased with A.M. Best’s recognition and validation of Coverys’ financial standing,” said Gregg Hanson, CEO and president of Coverys. “Coverys’ financial strength is fundamental to the continued operational services providing policyholders progressive risk management and enhanced patient safety programs.”

“We are proud to receive an A Rating from A.M. Best for Healthcare Underwriters Group,” said Joshua Salman, CEO and president of HU. “The recognition showcases Coverys’ financial strength and the collective resources of Coverys companies and Healthcare Underwriters Group.”

The full A.M. Best report is available on the A.M. Best website at www.ambest.com.

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KAMMCO Announces Unified Brand, Updated Website

Kansas-headquartered insurer of medical professional liability today announced a unified KAMMCO brand. KAMMCO and its subsidiaries will simply be referred to as KAMMCO, with exceptions being insurance policies, financial transactions/reporting or corporate legal matters where the full subsidiary name is most appropriate or required.

The KAMMCO board recently evaluated what KAMMCO means to members, the patients they serve, the healthcare organizations with whom they collaborate and the new markets the company is likely to enter into during the next few years. In doing so, the KAMMCO mission and vision and the KAMMCO business plan have been revised to reflect a national footprint with a more encompassing suite of insurance products and healthcare solutions intended to support and advocate for physicians and the delivery of quality healthcare. According to KAMMCO, the entire enterprise is poised to advocate for providers in new and important ways that are valuable to both providers and patients alike. The revised mission and vision statements read as follows:

KAMMCO Mission:
To be a trusted source of innovative insurance and technology solutions designed to meet the unique needs of our network of connected healthcare communities.

KAMMCO Vision:
To create value for healthcare providers and the patients they serve through provider-directed, patient-focused business and technology solutions that support quality care.

According to KAMMCO, the unification also presented an opportunity to “freshen” up its logo and general branding look.

The company also refreshed its www.KAMMCO.com website. The information and member resources are now organized according to the insurer’s Insurance division and Healthcare division. The updated website no longer requires a user name and password for members to access member resources (linked third party web resources, such as MED-IQ and the Cyber Security Resource Center, will still require a login upon reaching the respective portals).

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Two Members Re-Elected to the NORCAL Mutual Board of Directors

The NORCAL Mutual Board of Directors held the Annual Meeting of Members on Thursday, May 31, in San Francisco. During the Annual Meeting, policyholder members re-elected Alice H. Gannon and M. Diane Koken to serve a three-year term until the Annual Meeting of Members to be held in 2021.

The NORCAL Mutual Board is composed of nine directors of varying specialties and business backgrounds. Gannon has more than 40 years of experience as an actuary for the insurance industry, and Koken has been an attorney and formerly served as Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner.

Additionally, Patricia Dailey, MD, announced her retirement from the NORCAL Mutual Board. Dr. Dailey served on the Board since 2004.

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Coverys’ Lisa Simm Awarded FASHRM Designation by American Society for Healthcare Risk Management

Coverys recently announced that Lisa Simm, manager, risk management for the Boston-headquartered insurer of medical liability is a recent recipient of the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management’s Fellowship Award (FASHRM). This award recognizes outstanding individual achievement and professional excellence in healthcare risk management.

To be eligible for FASHRM, fellows must meet criteria in areas of academic and professional designations, continuing education, employment experience and contributions to the field of healthcare risk management through leadership, lecturing and publishing. All potential recipients for the fellowship position undergo a thorough review by the ASHRM board of directors.

“We are honored to have Lisa as part of our risk management team,” said Tara Gibson, vice president of risk management at Coverys. “Her dedication to the healthcare community and her ambition prove her to be a well-deserved recipient of this prestigious designation.”

Simm has more than 30 years of healthcare leadership experience focusing on healthcare risk management, quality, safety and regulatory compliance in hospital, outpatient settings, physician office practices and long-term care settings. She is a Registered/Licensed Dietitian, a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ), a Certified Professional in Patient Safety (CPPS) and a Certified Professional in Healthcare Risk Management (CPHRM). Simm is the current treasurer and board member of the Northern New England Society of Healthcare Risk Management and she is on the American Society of Healthcare Risk Management Content Committee.

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Paul H. DeHaan, MD, Elected ISMIE Chairman; New Officers and Board Members Elected

ISMIE Mutual Insurance Co. recently announced the election of Paul H. DeHaan, MD, to be the medical professional liability insurance company’s fourth chairman since the its founding in 1976.

DeHaan, previously ISMIE vice chairman, had been acting chair of ISMIE since the passing of former chairman Harold L. Jensen, MD, in May of 2017.

DeHaan has been an integral leader of ISMIE’s business development and expansion, according to the medical liability insurer. He is a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon who has lived and practiced in McHenry, Ill., for 30 years, a diplomate with the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and a fellow with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

DeHaan studied medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine and interned and completed his residency at the Medical College of Wisconsin Affiliated Hospitals.

New officers and board members elected

ISMIE’s board of directors elected Peter E. Eupierre, MD, a Melrose Park internist, as the company’s new vice chairman and Richard A. Geline, MD, a Glenview-based orthopaedic surgeon, as secretary-treasurer.

Adrienne L. Fregia, MD, a Chicago-based specialist in internal medicine and gastroenterology, and Dennis G. Norem, MD, a Rockford-based internist, were elected as new board members during the ISMIE annual meeting.

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