Alera Group Enhances Risk Management Industry Expertise with Acquisition of Heritage Risk Management
January 21, 2022
Alera Group, an independent, national insurance and wealth services firm, announced the acquisition of Heritage Risk Management, a network of independent risk management agencies that serve clients throughout Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado and New Mexico.
“At Heritage Risk Management, our independent agencies are able to stay close to clients and deliver personalized, comprehensive risk management solutions. With 178 years of shared experience between our network agencies, we bring extensive knowledge in developing tailored property and casualty insurance solutions for our clients,” said Jeff Neely III, Heritage Risk Management co-chief executive officer.
Heritage Risk Management’s network of independent risk management agencies offer a broad array of products and services, tapping into a deep well of expertise from across the organization to offer thought leadership in risk management across a myriad of industries including Agriculture, Banking, Oil & Gas, Construction, Transportation, Professional Services, Technology, Manufacturing, Healthcare, Medical Malpractice and Employee Benefits.
“Heritage Risk Management offers expanded support services and strong carrier relationships to meet client’s needs. As an integrated risk management provider, Heritage Risk Management has all the capabilities needed to deliver the best protection possible and their collaborative culture makes them an excellent fit for Alera Group,” said Alan Levitz, Alera Group chief executive officer.
The Heritage Risk Management team will continue serving clients in their existing roles. Terms of the transaction were not announced.
MICA Announces $17 Million in Dividends
January 18, 2022
The Mutual Insurance Company of Arizona (MICA) recently announced $17 million in dividends to be allocated among active policyholders as of Dec. 31, 2021. According to MICA, the dividend derives from a combination of favorable claims experience and strong investment performance.
“As a physician-owned and directed mutual insurance company, MICA is able to return funds to our members whenever results are favorable. This year’s dividend exemplifies MICA’s financial strength and dedication to its mission of protecting and defending the practice of medicine,” said James F. Carland, MD, MICA chief executive officer.
The dividend will be distributed in the February, after which MICA will have returned $700 million in dividends to its policyholders since 1988, including $125 million in the last five years alone.
The Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS) Announces New, No-Cost Membership for Everyone in the Industry
January 14, 2022
PLUS, a non-profit organization offering professional liability educational programs, networking events, educational products and information, announced a new membership model starting in 2022 that will allow all professionals in the professional liability industry to join PLUS association at no cost. The move expanded PLUS membership from 6,000 to more than 33,000 members in the first few weeks of January.
“PLUS is excited to announce our new membership model that will allow all industry professionals to become PLUS members at no-cost,” said Robbie Thompson, PLUS chief executive officer. “Paying a membership fee shouldn’t be a barrier to the opportunity to build connections and make business relationships. And it will mean more expertise to develop even more content and education, which strengthens the value of the PLUS community.”
After its membership conversion, PLUS now has more than 33,000 industry professional members from throughout North America and around the world.
“This larger membership will benefit the entire industry and its professionals by providing unmatched access to an extensive network of knowledge and ideas,” said Thompson. “We look forward to accessing all of this knowledge and sharing it with this much larger audience to further our mission of advancing industry professionals.”
According to PLUS, it is the only association created by and for the entire professional liability industry, and available to any individual in the professional liability industry across the globe. PLUS leads the professional liability industry by:
- Offering the most recognized and relevant curriculum and designation program in the professional liability industry with the RPLU and CPLP designations
- Hosting the largest industry D&O event held in conjunction with an expanding cyber event
- Providing the professional liability industry’s only national and international chapter system, and
- Hosting the longest running annual conference exclusive to professional liability.
For more information on PLUS’ expanded membership, please visit https://plusweb.org/PLUS-is-More
CMIC RRG Appoints Stratton Danes, MD, to Board of Directors
January 11, 2022
CMIC RRG announced the appointment of Stratton Danes, MD, to its Board of Directors.
“Dr. Danes brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to our Board of Directors,” said Stephen J. Gallant, CMIC RRG chief executive officer. “With his input, we look forward to expanding and enhancing our coverage and benefit offerings for members, as well as continuing to grow the footprint of the Company.”
Danes is a board-certified vascular surgeon who specializes in critical limb salvage, aortic aneurysm repair, venous disease and carotid interventions. He is an attending physician at Middlesex Hospital and Lawrence Memorial Hospital in Connecticut, and at Westerly Hospital and South County Hospital in Rhode Island. In addition, he has also practiced in Michigan, New York and New Hampshire.
After graduating from Upstate Medical University at Syracuse in 1998, Danes completed his general surgery residency at New York University in 2003. He also completed a vascular surgery fellowship at Hartford Hospital. He is currently in private practice at The Vascular Experts.
Integris Group Appoints Victoria Reyes, MD, to Board of Directors
January 11, 2022
Integris Group announced today the appointment of Victoria Reyes, MD, to its Board of Directors.
“Dr. Reyes is an experienced and well-respected physician whose expertise will benefit our Board of Directors,” said Stephen J. Gallant, Integris Group chief executive officer. “Her leadership and insights will support our continued growth as a company and our commitment to consistently delivering exceptional coverage and benefits to members.”
Reyes is board-certified in anatomic pathology and clinical pathology. Throughout her career, she has served on numerous committees that focus on safety and quality in the laboratory and patient care setting. Reyes has been the chair of the Pathology Department and the laboratory medical director at Lawrence & Memorial Hospital since 2009, and at Westerly Hospital since 2013.
After graduating from Brown University Medical School in 1996, Reyes completed her residency and fellowship in 2001 at the University of Washington, where she served as co-chief resident. She is currently in private practice at Pathology Consultants of New London.
Medical Liability Monitor January 2022 Issue Highlights
January 7, 2022
The just-published February 2022 issue of Medical Liability Monitor features the following articles and more. Click here to subscribe today:
Swiss Re Attributes Social Inflation to Third-Party Litigation Funding, Calls for Federal Regulation of $17 Billion Industry
A new report from Swiss Re warns third-party litigation funding (TPLF) and the growth in litigation funding companies are contributing to the social inflation driving up legal expenses and claims severity in the insurance industry. The reinsurance giant is calling for stronger regulation of TPLF, including mandatory disclosure and regulation of funding terms and conditions …
New Mexico Makes Last-Minute Tweaks to New Medical Malpractice Act, Averts Medical Liability Insurance Crisis
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed House Bill 11 late last month after a special legislative session that addressed ambiguities in the state’s recently overhauled Medical Malpractice Act (MMA). The last-minute fix averted a medical liability insurance crisis that threatened to force some independent physicians and medical practices to stop seeing patients on Dec. 31, 2021, but the fix is temporary ...
ATRF Publishes Annual ‘Judicial Hellhole Report,’ Medical Professional Liability Again Plays Determining Role
The American Tort Reform Foundation issued its 2021/2022 Judicial Hellholes report last month. The annual release documents abuses of the civil justice system in jurisdictions the pro-tort reform group says are among the most unfair and out of balance in the nation. As every year, medical professional liability issues played a significant role in which regions received mention in the 2021/2022 Judicial Hellholes report …
EmPRO Reports Strong First Year, Accelerates PRI Solvency Projection
One year since the inauguration of EmPRO Insurance Co., the New York-admitted medical liability insurance company has written more than $170 million in direct premium and helped contribute almost $35 million in positive surplus to its parent company Physicians’ Reciprocal Insurers …
Minnesota Supreme Court Weighing Physician Duty to Third Parties
The Minnesota Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments in Smits v. Park Nicollet Health Services, et al., a case the healthcare community says could create an untenable burden on healthcare providers to warn third parties of a patient’s unforeseeable violent behavior …
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A.M. Best Reaffirms Superior Rating of the Cooperative of American Physicians’ Mutual Protection Trust
December 16, 2021
The Cooperative of American Physicians, Inc. (CAP) announced today that the Mutual Protection Trust (MPT), its medical malpractice/professional liability coverage product for California physicians, again earned an A+ (Superior) rating from A.M. Best. This marks the 15th-consecutive year MPT achieved this rating.
As part of its grading report, A.M. Best praised MPT for its financial flexibility and capital strength, sound invested asset base and ability to access capital. The report also highlights CAP’s “strongest level of risk-adjusted capitalization and favorable market position in California as the second-largest provider of MPL coverage in the state.” It further cited CAP’s company culture that is focused on enterprise risk management and strong internal controls.
“For 15 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,” said Sarah Scher, CAP chief executive officer.
A.M. Best also 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.
LAMMICO Named ‘One of the Best and Brightest Company to Work For’ in the Nation
December 15, 2021
LAMMICO was named one of the Best and Brightest Companies to Work For in the Nation for fall 2021 by the National Association for Business Resources. The 2021 Fall National winners were assessed by an independent research firm that reviewed a number of key measures relative to other nationally recognized winners, based on categories such as communication, work-life balance, employee education, diversity, recognition, retention and more.
The Best and Brightest Companies to Work For in the Nation offers different timelines of applications throughout the year: spring, summer, fall and winter. The fall Best and Brightest National winners honored 167 organizations from across the country out of 1,500 nominations.
According to LAMMICO, its commitment to work-life balance and flexibility to the recognition. LAMMICO employees report valuing the benefits of flexible work hours, compressed workweeks, remote work and telecommuting.
The Best and Brightest Companies to Work For in the Nation winners will be honored at the virtual Illuminate Business Summit week in January 2022. During the Illuminate Business Summit, LAMMICO and the other winning companies will be celebrated for demonstrating exceptional innovative human resource practices and setting high standards for all businesses.
“This honor reflects the heart of LAMMICO and its people, who are among the best and brightest I know,” said J. Michael Conerly, MD, LAMMICO president and chief executive officer. “I am grateful for — and proud of — the LAMMICO staff who successfully worked during the pandemic and hurricane recoveries to best serve the needs of our insured healthcare providers.”
LAMMICO is headquartered in Metairie, Louisiana, and has offices in Baton Rouge and Shreveport.
AM Best Assigns Credit Ratings to Applied Medico-Legal Solutions Risk Retention Group, Inc.
December 15, 2021
AM Best has assigned a Financial Strength Rating of A- (Excellent) and a Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “a-” (Excellent) to Applied Medico-Legal Solutions Risk Retention Group, Inc. (AMS RRG) (Phoenix, AZ). The outlook assigned to these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.
The ratings reflect AMS RRG’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as very strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.
AMS RRG’s balance sheet assessment is supported by risk-adjusted capitalization, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR), at the strongest level. The assessment also considers the company’s consistent surplus growth through earnings and required capital contributions from policyholders. In order to be an insured, members are required to contribute 30% of their mature claims-made premium as capital. These member contributions are paid over a three-year period, which results in a significant portion of capital being receivable from policyholders. The balance sheet is further solidified by an adverse development cover, which insulates the company from any future reserve development on business written in 2020 and prior. The very strong balance sheet strength assessment also considers enhancements to the company’s reinsurance program and planned capital contributions totaling $35 million in the form of surplus notes and equity, which are expected to be implemented in the fourth quarter of 2021.
While the company’s reported results have been subpar, more recent accident-year results have been on par with its peers when adjusted for swing-rated reinsurance. This assessment also considers management’s recent reinsurance initiatives, which are expected to insulate the company from much of its legacy business written prior to 2021. These initiatives include the elimination of swing-rated reinsurance with more traditional reinsurance going forward, the purchase of an adverse development cover, and the purchase of a swing premium protection cover – all of which are expected to reduce volatility of underwriting results and earnings drag going forward. The overall operating performance assessment of adequate places considerable weight on management’s projections and the company’s expected return to underwriting profitability in 2022.
AMS RRG provides medical professional liability (MPL) coverage to over 3,000 individual physician and small physician group members. The limited business profile assessment primarily reflects product and geographic concentration risks as a monoline MPL writer, with approximately 70% of premium volume in its top five states of operation, which exposes the group to risks associated with changes in underwriting cycles, loss cost trends, health care delivery and the legal, economic and regulatory environment.
The company benefits from an appropriate ERM program that promotes clear communication throughout the organization. A formally defined risk appetite and tolerance have been established as foundational elements of the framework. AMS RRG also maintains an appropriate fixed-rate reinsurance program in excess of its $500,000 net retention per claim and per clash. Furthermore, awards-made coverage of $10 million provides additional protection.
The stable outlooks reflect AM Best's expectation that the company will maintain its overall balance sheet assessment, supported by risk-adjusted capitalization at the strongest level, and restored level of underwriting results and operating profitability that are generally in line with management's projections.
Negative rating action could occur following a weakening of overall balance sheet strength, a considerable decline in risk-adjusted capitalization or other quantitative and/or qualitative balance sheet metrics. Negative rating action may also occur if operating and underwriting results differ materially from management's projections as a result of unfavorable shifts in claim frequency or severity, changes in market dynamics or the emergence of adverse loss reserve development on prospective accident years not covered by the adverse development cover.
Medical Liability Monitor December 2021 Highlights
December 6, 2021
The December 2021 issue of Medical Liability Monitor features the following articles and more. Click here to subscribe today:
Federal Appeals Court Narrows PREP Act Liability Protections
Almost two years after the U.S. government declared COVID-19 a public health emergency, federal courts are beginning to narrow the application of the Public Readiness & Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act, a law invoked via emergency declaration in early 2020 to shield providers of pandemic countermeasures from civil liability. A recent, precedent-setting federal appeals court decision raises concern over the scope of protections for hospitals, nursing homes and healthcare providers …
Milliman Inc. Analysis of Third-Quarter Financial Results for MPL Specialty Writers
Milliman actuaries note continued premium growth continued for medical professional liability specialty writers in the third quarter, although it was driven more by non-MPL premiums — which have been increasing by more than 30% per annum — than earlier this year ...
California Hospitalist Wants Federal Court to Declare Disciplinary Hearings Unconstitutional
A California hospitalist who had his hospital privileges rescinded in 2015 for substandard performance and inadequate record keeping filed a civil action last month asking a federal court to reinstate those privileges, alleging a lack of due process during medical disciplinary hearings violates the Fourteenth Amendment of U.S. Constitution …
ProAssurance Q3 Results Benefit from NORCAL Acquisition
Last month, ProAssurance Corp. reported a net income of $12.2 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2021. The company posted a third-quarter current-accident-year loss ratio of 85.2%, net-loss ratio of 82.1%, underwriting-expense ratio of 24.5%, combined ratio of 106.6% and operating ratio of 99.5%. ProAssurance also boasted a $34.5 million net investment result, an increase of 58.5% over the same period in 2020. ProAssurance’s Specialty P&C Segment reported $235 million in gross premiums written for the third-quarter 2021, up from $158.3 million for the same period in 2020. The Specialty P&C Segment’s increase in gross premiums written is primarily attributed to ProAssurance’s acquisition of NORCAL Group, which was finalized on May 5, 2021 …
AMA Adopts Policy to Combat Disinformation by Healthcare Professionals
Acknowledging the dangerous spread of public health disinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic, physician, resident and medical student members of the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates adopted policy last month aimed at combatting public health disinformation disseminated by healthcare professionals …
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