Gregg Hanson Receives 2022 MPL Association Award of Excellence in Honor of Peter Sweetland

May 16, 2022 by matray

The Medical Professional Liability (MPL) Association awarded Gregg L. Hanson the 2022 Award of Excellence in Honor of Peter Sweetland at its annual conference last week in Salt Lake City. Hanson is being honored for his outstanding contributions and longtime dedication to the MPL insurance community, the MPL Association and healthcare  professionals.

Hanson served as the chief executive officer and president of Coverys from January 2012 until April 2021, where he was responsible for the strategic leadership of the organization, expanding its presence nationwide and establishing an international footprint.

He started his career at Coverys as vice president of underwriting in 2000. He was promoted to senior vice president of underwriting in 2006 and also assumed management responsibility of the Marketing, Risk Management and Healthcare Provider Education departments. Hanson was named the company’s chief operating officer in 2009 and added oversight of the Claims, Human Resources, and IT departments to his responsibilities.

Hanson previously served as senior vice president of southern operations and underwriting for ProNational Insurance Co. Other past positions included numerous executive roles with the St. Paul Insurance Co., encompassing underwriting, marketing and operational management throughout the Midwest and Florida.

Over the years, Hanson has served in various leadership roles within the MPL Association, including as a member of the Board of Directors, the MPL Association PAC Committee, Nominating Committee and Strategic Planning Committee as well as Section Chair of the CEO/COO Meeting.

“Gregg has made a significant positive impact on the Association and the industry as whole,” said James Q. Swift, MD, chair of the MPL Association Board of Directors and director and chair of OMSNIC. “We are extremely appreciative of his service. In particular, his innovative, thoughtful input on our recent strategic planning efforts will serve the Association for years to come. We are pleased to honor him with this well-deserved award.”

“Throughout his career, Gregg demonstrated great dedication to the MPL industry with his work at Coverys and his service to the Association,” said Brian K. Atchinson, president and CEO of the MPL Association. “He has long been a tireless champion of professional development for all those with whom he worked and consistently promoted the importance and value of MPL companies and all those whom they insure.”

The MPL Association Award of Excellence in Honor of Peter Sweetland, established in 1993 by the MPL Association’s Board of Directors, was created in honor of the late Peter Sweetland, one of the Association’s chief architects and most fervent supporters. The award recognizes an individual who has provided exemplary service to the industry and to the MPL Association, and who epitomizes the high ideals and ethics for which Peter Sweetland stood.

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Medical Liability Monitor May 2022 Issue Highlights

May 16, 2022 by matray

The May 2022 issue of Medical Liability Monitor features the following articles and more. Click here to subscribe today.

Corporate Acquisitions Accelerating Surge in Employed Physicians
New research from the Physicians Advocacy Institute (PAI), a nonprofit physician advocacy organization, in conjunction with the healthcare consultancy Avalere Health, indicates almost three quarters (73.9%) of all U.S. physicians were employed by a hospital, health system or other corporate entity as of Jan. 1, 2022, up from 69% at the same point last year. And researchers noted the employed-physician trend accelerated drastically after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic — with 83,000 physicians having transitioned from independent practice since March 2020. …

California Healthcare Providers, Trial Attorneys, Legislators Reach Deal to Increase MICRA Cap
Stakeholders in the decades-long battle over California’s noneconomic damages cap for medical liability jury verdicts announced they have reached a compromise between healthcare, legal and consumer advocates on legislation to modernize the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA). Signed into law in 1975, MICRA established a $250,000 cap on medical malpractice awards for things like pain and suffering, which proponents argued was necessary to balance compensatory justice for injured patients with important legal and financial protections for healthcare providers. The cap has never been adjusted for inflation ...

Virtual or Hybrid Trials, Arbitration Expected to Continue Post-Pandemic
The national law firm Wilson Elser LLP expects virtual and hybrid jury trials, bench trials and arbitrations to continue as the nation and its court systems transition out of the COVID-19 pandemic. The prediction came during the 42-location firm’s recent National Mock Trial Training Program, where senior partners train Wilson Elser’s next generation of trial attorneys …

New York High Court to Determine Who Gets MLMIC Demutualization Money
The New York Court of Appeals, the highest court in the Unified Court System of the State of New York, heard oral arguments last month for a set of related cases questioning who is the rightful beneficiary of monies generated by the demutualization of Medical Liability Mutual Insurance Co. (MLMIC). What’s the question at hand? While the healthcare providers were listed as the policyholders on paper, their employers argue that because the medical practice paid the premium, they are, in fact, the policyholders and are entitled to the demutualization proceeds. The employed healthcare providers counter that the medical liability insurance coverage was part of their work compensation and they deserve the proceeds. …

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Coverys Launches Coverys International Insurance Co.

April 28, 2022 by matray

Coverys announced the launch of Coverys International Insurance Co., based in Dublin, Ireland. Coverys International will write a portfolio of European specialty liability business primarily distributed through the group’s pan-European network of MGA companies that includes Bridge Insurance Brokers in Italy, AEC Group in Italy and Spain, and Brady Underwriting in Ireland.

Coverys International will be led by chief executive officer Rajeeva Aluwihare, previously chief operating officer of Coverys European Holdings (CEH) and Christina Lippert as chief underwriting officer. Steven Spano, chief executive officer of CEH will join the company’s board of directors as non-executive chairman.

Aluwihare has more than two decades of experience in the insurance industry, including 19 years in increasingly senior roles at Italian insurer Generali. Lippert has 25 years of experience with major international insurers focused on European specialty insurance products.

“Coverys International will expand our European risk-taking capabilities and provide our MGAs across Europe with additional insurance capacity to grow their businesses," said Steven Spano, Coverys Europe Holdings chief executive officer. "We continue to see attractive opportunities through our managing agencies across Europe. In Rajeeva, we have a highly experienced business leader ready to use leading-edge technologies to bring this vision to market to benefit our agency network’s clients and brokers.”

“The demand for the products offered by our managing agency partners is tremendous," Aluwihare said. "By providing additional capacity for these profitable portfolios, we will facilitate the growth of local European business, not only for us at Coverys, but for the other insurance markets that partner with the CEH agency network and our reinsurers. I look forward to working with our extensive network to realize our ambition.”

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Positive Physicians Insurance Co. Names Annie Matincheck Senior Vice President of Underwriting

April 20, 2022 by matray

Positive Physicians Insurance Co., a medical professional liability insurer serving hundreds of healthcare practices across 10 states, announced Annie Matincheck has joined its senior leadership team as senior vice president of underwriting.

Matincheck has more than 23 years of experience in the insurance industry, with most of her focus in medical liability. She has previously held leadership positions in the areas of underwriting, business development, marketing/brand and strategic projects with both national and regional carriers. Prior to joining PPI, Matincheck was an associate vice president of business development for the NORCAL Group where she oversaw the marketing, brand and agency services functions.

“We are beyond excited to have Annie join our team,” said Kim Casteel, Positive Physicians chief operating officer. “Her knowledge of the MPL industry will be an incredible asset for PPI. We look forward to her experience and leadership driving us as we continue to grow and change the landscape of the MPL industry.”  

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Chairman W. Stancil Starnes to Retire From ProAssurance Board of Directors

April 19, 2022 by matray

ProAssurance Corp. announced that W. Stancil (Stan) Starnes, executive chairman of the Board of Directors, will retire from the ProAssurance board at the end of his current term and is not standing for re-election. Starnes will serve his remaining term as a director and executive chairman, which expires at the Annual Meeting Shareholders to be held on May 24, 2022.

“On behalf of our entire organization and the stakeholders we serve, I want to thank Stan for his visionary leadership and deep commitment to our insureds, our investors, our employees and the larger medical community,” said Ned Rand, ProAssurance president and CEO. “Stan’s support, encouragement and mentorship have been indispensable to me. We all wish him the best in his upcoming retirement.”

Starnes has been a member of the ProAssurance Board since September 2007 and has served as chairman, then executive chairman, since October 2008. In addition, Starnes served as chief executive officer of the company from July 2007 to July 2019, overseeing a period in which ProAssurance completed seven acquisitions, diversified its product offerings and expanded its geographical reach.

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Kaiser Arbitrator Awards Injured Child $25.6 million

April 19, 2022 by matray

Attorneys for nine-year-old Jayden Vargas recently obtained an arbitration award of $25,638,058.93 for their client from Los Angeles arbitrator Robert Hanger for the negligence of 10 healthcare providers at Kaiser Fontana Hospital.

Vargas was born with a congenital bowel condition called atresia which was surgically repaired shortly after his birth. According to the Vargas’ attorneys, if he had been properly treated, he would have led a normal life. Instead, he was force-fed formula which led to a rupture of his bowels, sepsis and emergency surgery. Vargas’ blood pressure dropped to critical levels over prolonged periods of time, leading to a lack of oxygenated blood to his brain, which resulted in a profound brain injury that requires around-the-clock care.

According to Vargas’ attorneys, the more than $25.6 million arbitration award is one of the highest medical negligence awards for a single patient against the Kaiser healthcare entities.

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Medical Liability Monitor April 2022 Issue Highlights

April 8, 2022 by matray

The just-published April 2022 issue of Medical Liability Monitor features the following articles and more. Click here to subscribe today.

AM Best Maintains Negative Outlook for MPL Segment in 2022
AM Best maintained its negative outlook for the U.S. medical professional liability (MPL) insurance segment in 2022. In a Market Segment Outlook published last month, the global credit ratings agency cited the ongoing pressures of a depressed demand, rising loss cost trends, an increase in high-severity claims, social inflation and diminishing reserve redundancies as justification for continued concern …

AMA Analysis of Medical Liability Monitor Annual Rate Survey Data Indicate ‘Hard Market’ Pricing in Certain States
An American Medical Association analysis of Medical Liability Monitor’s aggregate medical professional liability insurance rate data found that, for the third-consecutive year, a larger portion of premiums increased (29.5%) than in any year since the last medical malpractice insurance hard market in the early 2000s. Historic data shows the proportion of premiums that increased in 2018 almost doubled in 2019 — from 13.7% to 26.5% — and reached a 15-year high (31.1%) in 2020 ...

Premium Growth Leads Positive Year for MPL Specialty Writers
An exclusive analysis of a composite of MPL specialty writers for Medical Liability Monitor by Milliman Inc. indicates direct written premium increased by 9.8% to $6.2 billion in 2021, its highest level since 2008 and largest increase since 2004. After a short pause in rate action due to the pandemic, last year saw significant premium growth as MPL companies took rate increases and decreased average credits/discounts in response to the continued deterioration of their combined ratios …

Constellation Announces Agreement to Acquire Michigan Professional Insurance Exchange
Constellation announced it has entered into an agreement with Michigan Professional Insurance Exchange (MPIE) to acquire MPIE’s business, assets and liabilities. MPIE employs more than 30 people and has annualized gross written premiums of approximately $23 million. The loss portfolio transfer agreement is contingent upon receipt of all required regulatory approvals, satisfaction of closing conditions and approval by MPIE’s member insureds. The two entities anticipate closing in four to five months …

EmPRO to Enter New Jersey Market this Summer
EmPRO Insurance Co. announced plans to expand into the New Jersey market last month. The New York-based insurer of medical liability has applied for admitted status with the New Jersey Department of Banking & Insurance with the goal of issuing policies beginning this summer. EmPRO attributes its first planned expansion outside New York to recent success. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Physicians’ Reciprocal Insurers, administered by its attorney-in-fact PRIMMA LLC, EmPRO reported the two companies grew their surplus by $29 million last year, achieved $16 million in underwriting gains and posted a 78.9% combined ratio for the year ended Dec. 31, 2021 …

Missouri Considers Shrinking Its Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims
Legislators in both chambers of the Missouri General Assembly are currently debating bills to shrink the state’s statute of limitations for personal injury claims from five to two years. Only Maine and South Dakota have longer statutes of limitations for personal injury claims at six years …

Subscribe today to get this issue (as well as the 2021 Annual Rate Survey at no additional cost).

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Jury Awards Injured Baby $25.4M in KC Metro’s Largest Medical Malpractice Verdict

April 6, 2022 by matray

A jury in Jackson County, Mo., awarded a record $25.4 million medical negligence judgment todau against Kelli Sandri, MD, for failing to properly treat a mother in labor. The child suffered permanent birth injuries due to a lack of oxygen.

After a two-week trial, the jury determined Sandri violated her duty of care when improperly supervising a student doctor with respect to the administration of Pitocin medication used to speed up labor. Fetal monitoring equipment demonstrated more than six hours of excessive Pitocin administration, resulting in a loss of oxygen to the baby’s brain that caused cerebral palsy.

The jury awarded $18,972,000 for ongoing medical care and damages for the plaintiffs, as well as $5 million for past and future pain, suffering and disfigurement. The Greater Kansas City Jury Verdict Service referred to the verdict as the highest for medical malpractice in the metropolitan area’s history.

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MedMal Direct Names Bryan Carter COO, Director

March 29, 2022 by matray

MedMal Direct Insurance Co. announced it has promoted Bryan Carter to chief operating officer and director, effective immediately. According to the company, Carter’s appointment follows the company’s significant premium growth under his leadership of the sales and marketing division.

“I have known Bryan as a colleague for over twenty years and he is a seasoned and proven medical professional liability and healthcare sales leader that achieves results,” said Marc D. Hammett, MedMal Direct president and chief executive officer. “Additionally, Bryan is a thoughtful and strategic leader, and I am excited to see how his insights will propel our company to new levels of operational efficiency, growth and profitability. Since he joined our team in 2018, both [MedMal Direct] and our affiliate, CorePRO Insurance, LLC, have steadily grown revenues year-over-year. Bryan is an enthusiastic and intuitive manager, and I am eager to see him grow into this role.”  

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Curi Board of Directors Approves More Than $21M in Financial Distributions to Members, Announces New Board Member

March 24, 2022 by matray

Curi announced that its Board of Directors has approved the largest annual allocations to the company’s Legacy Fund and Member Dividend programs in nearly a decade, signaling significant growth and momentum for the firm and its membership. According to Curi, its Legacy Fund and Member Dividend programs provide a meaningful financial benefit to its members and their practices.

“Last year was a banner year for Curi as we continued to grow geographically and expand the range of products and services that we offer physicians and medical practices,” said Jason Sandner, Curi chief executive officer. “The Legacy Fund and Member Dividend programs are just two of the many ways that we continue to drive toward our mission of helping physicians in medicine, business, and life. We’re proud to share our success back with the physician-members who own this company.”

The Board approved a $14 million allocation to Legacy Fund accounts for 2022, bringing the total allocation to $151.6 million since 2009. The Legacy Fund represents savings accounts for member physicians and medical practices, funded by a portion of Curi’s net income. Cash balances that accumulate in Legacy Fund accounts are paid to account holders upon designated events, including qualifying retirement. Over the last five years, allocations to The Legacy Fund have averaged 10% of annual premium paid.

The Board also approved the disbursement of $7 million for a cash Member Dividend for 2022. Curi has paid out a cumulative $51.7 million in dividends since 2008. Dividends have averaged 5% of members’ annual medical professional liability premium paid over the last five years. These dividends will be paid out to qualifying physicians and practices in April.

Curi members also elected Anuj Gupta, MD, of Peachtree Orthopedics in Atlanta, GA, to the Curi Board of Directors. In addition, Curi’s Jason Newton was named General Counsel and Secretary for all Curi companies.

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