CMIC Group Announces Appointment of Mary Ann Bentz, MD, to CMIC Board

June 28, 2018 by matray

CMIC Group announced that Mary Ann Bentz, MD, has joined the CMIC Board of Directors.

 “Dr. Bentz is an experienced and dynamic medical professional,” said Stephen J. Gallant, chief executive officer of CMIC Group. “Her leadership and background will prove to be a substantial asset to the Board as well as the company.”

Bentz received her medical degree from the Boston University School of Medicine, where she was also awarded the Joseph Cochin Award in Pharmacology and Medical Ethics. She completed her residency in Dermatology at Boston University and Tufts University. Bentz has served on the Board of Directors of Lawrence & Memorial Hospital in New London, Conn., and was also thepresident of the Medical Staff at the hospital. She currently works in private practice in New London at Dermatology Associates of Southeastern Connecticut.

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Nurses Say Today’s Anti-Union, Anti-Worker Supreme Court Decision Threatens Patient Safety

June 27, 2018 by matray

The Supreme Court decision today to roll back decades of union and worker rights in Janus v. AFSCME poses a significant threat to patient safety as well as worker and community health and economic standards, said National Nurses United, the nation’s largest union and professional association of registered nurses.

Registered nurses affiliated with California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU) will also hold press conferences today at medical facilities throughout California and in Chicago to discuss the impact of today’s ruling

NNU is urging Congress to reverse the decision and support the Workplace Democracy Act, introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Senate and Rep. Mark Pocan in the House to strengthen the rights of workers to form unions – and for state legislators to also act to protect the rights of workers and unions.

Additionally, “we encourage all non-union workers to join strong unions to protect their right to act collectively to advocate for themselves, their co-workers, and the public well being,” said NNU Co-President Deborah Burger, RN.

Janus, said Burger, is “a gift to billionaires, corporate executives and far right lobbying groups that have worked for years to destroy worker rights and unions. It also harms women and people of color who have historically had more economic opportunity in public workplaces in contrast to decades of discrimination by private employers.”

“But the architects of this decision have a far larger goal than just hamstringing public unions and workers,” said NNU Executive Director Bonnie Castillo, RN.

“They want to remove any opposition to their agenda of eliminating all protections on public health and safety, in healthcare, environmental pollution, clear air and water, food safety, and workplace standards, that they see as an impediment to their profits and authoritarian power,” said Castillo.

“That’s why they have targeted unions in both the public and private sector who with tens of millions of members are a powerful voice for working people to unite to defend our communities and nation,” Castillo said.

In healthcare, the decision “seeks to handcuff registered nurses and other public healthcare workers who challenge unsafe conditions or cuts in patient services,” said Burger.  “Nurses have seen hospitals aggressively pushing to cut corners that lead to dangerous conditions that jeopardize patient lives, as well as corporate-aligned politicians shredding public healthcare and other safety net programs.”

“Nurses will never be silent in the face of this ruling, or in any other threat to our patients, our members, and our communities,” Castillo said.

Under a 1977 Supreme Court case, Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, workers represented by a union who object to the union’s political activity must either pay union dues or otherwise pay a fee to cover the cost of the union’s work to represent them for the cost of negotiating improvements in pay, benefits and working conditions.

Under Janus, the Court broke with that established law and court precedent to allow public workers to refuse to pay any dues or fees, even though unions are required to represent all employees covered under a union contract. 

Nurses in public hospitals emphasize the difference with a collective union voice to advocate for patient safety and public protections.

“Budget cuts frequently threaten to close services that the community desperately needs,” said Martese Chism, a nurse at Chicago’s John H. Stroger Hospital. “When the system threatened to close pediatric services at Stroger, we came together with other public sector unions at County and fought to keep pediatrics open.”

“With our communities facing a serious opioid crisis, and public health emergencies, patients count on us to act on their behalf when care conditions are eroded, when staffing is unsafe, when decisions are based on budget goals, not patient need. That’s what this ruling threatens,” said San Bernardino County, CA Public Health RN Kimberly Amini.  

“It’s the union that brings many safety laws in legislation and public regulatory protections,” says Maureen Dugan, RN, who works at the University of California San Francisco. “The attack on our union is an attack on our patients.”  

In advance of the decision, NNU has been meeting with nurses who work in public health settings and encouraging them, with growing success, to work together to protect their collective, union voice to strengthen their ability to speak out for the safety of their patients and improved economic and workplace standards for their colleagues.

Janus is modeled after so-called “right to work” private sector laws in 28 states. In those states, median household incomes are $8,174 less than in non-right to work states, people under 65 are 46 percent more likely to be uninsured, infant mortality rates are 12 percent higher, and workplace deaths occur 49 percent more often. 

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CMIC Group Announces Appointment of Nicholas Bontempo, MD to CMIC Board

June 26, 2018 by matray

CMIC Group has announced that Nicholas Bontempo, MD, has joined the CMIC Board of Directors.

“Dr. Bontempo is a highly skilled and exceptional physician that is well respected in the community,” said Stephen J. Gallant, chief executive officer of CMIC Group. “His expertise and leadership experience will benefit the Board as well as the company as a whole.”

Bontempo graduated from The College of New Jersey in 2003 where he majored in biology and minored in chemistry and psychology. He obtained his medical degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey – New Jersey Medical School in 2007. Bontempo then went on to complete his orthopedic residency at the University of Connecticut in 2012. As a chief resident in orthopedic surgery, he was awarded the Cavasos resident award, given to the most well-rounded resident, mentor and role model. Also, as a resident Bontempo was awarded the Courtland G. Lewis Founders award from the Greater Hartford Orthopedic Educational Research Fund, as well as the Connecticut Orthopedic Society Research award. He currently practices with Orthopedic Associates of Hartford.

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MICA Announces the Appointment of Timothy J. Friers as Underwriting Vice President

June 25, 2018 by matray

Earlier this month, Mutual Insurance Co. of Arizona (MICA) announced the appointment of Timothy (Tim) J. Friers as its new underwriting vice president. Friers will join MICA as vice president on July 9, 2018, and will become underwriting vice president upon the retirement of Mary K. Hedin. Hedin will retire in August 2018 after more than 18 years of service with MICA and a total of thirty-seven years in the insurance industry. During the one-month overlap, Mary and Tim will work together to assure a smooth transition. Hedin joined MICA after 19 years’ experience in the medical professional liability insurance industry. During her time at MICA, she was responsible for underwriting hospital system risks, converting MICA’s underwriting policy management system, transitioning underwriting files from paper to an imaging system and bringing on more than 2,600 new policyholders during a hard market. Prior to joining MICA, she held management positions with both AIG and COPIC Insurance Co. “We are pleased to welcome Tim to MICA’s senior management team," said James Garland, MD, MICA chairman and chief executive. "His extensive experience in the industry will undoubtedly be an asset to MICA and will help shape MICA’s future.” Friers comes to MICA from his most recent position as senior vice president and chief operating officer at NORCAL Mutual Insurance Co., where his responsibilities included overseeing underwriting, policyholder services, billing, claims and risk management for all NORCAL Group companies. Prior to that appointment in 2015, he was the senior vice president and chief underwriting officer at NORCAL Mutual Insurance Co. Previously, Friers served for 10 years as vice president-underwriting and policyholder services at PMSLIC Insurance Co. (now known as NORCAL Specialty Insurance Co., a subsidiary of NORCAL Mutual Insurance Co.), a medical professional liability carrier that was formed by the Pennsylvania Medical Society in 1978.

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ISMIE Indemnity Coverage Now Available in All 50 States

June 21, 2018 by matray

ISMIE Indemnity, an excess and surplus line division of ISMIE Mutual Insurance Co., announced yesterday that it now offers medical professional liability insurance products in every state in the U.S. With approval from state insurance regulators, ISMIE Indemnity reports that it is positioned to deliver its protection and customized solutions to medical professionals and facilities throughout the United States. ISMIE Mutual also continues to expand its writing platform and offers medical liability products on an admitted basis in 10 states and the District of Columbia. “This is a milestone for ISMIE, which has been serving dedicated clinicians and facilities in some of the nation’s toughest practice environments since 1976,” said Paul H. DeHaan, MD, ISMIE chairman. “Now in our fifth decade, we are available in all 50 states, helping practices expand physically or digitally with competitive coverage and pricing options on a variety of medical liability solutions.” ISMIE Indemnity’s medical professional liability and healthcare facilities products are offered through wholesale and retail broker networks across the U.S.

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New York State Society of Plastic Surgeons Selects The Doctors Company as Exclusive Partner

June 18, 2018 by matray

The New York State Society of Plastic Surgeons (NYSSPS) Executive Council has chosen The Doctors Company as the exclusively endorsed medical malpractice insurer for its members.

“We chose to endorse The Doctors Company because as an organization founded and led by physicians and owned by members, they share our commitment to address challenges faced by our members and our focus on legislative advocacy,” said Stephen Coccaro, MD, NYSSPS president. “As the largest insurer of plastic surgeons in the nation, The Doctors Company also has an unparalleled understanding of liability claims against our specialty.”

“We are very pleased to welcome the NYSSPS as a partner,” said Richard E. Anderson, MD, FACP, chairman and CEO of The Doctors Company. “We are strongly aligned with the society's focus on legislation and regulation. Through our national and state advocacy efforts, we defend existing reforms, prevent legislation that would undermine the defense of our members, and support measures that would limit liability exposure for physicians.”

NYSSPS members are now eligible for a multitude of offerings from The Doctors Company, including aggressive defense; expert patient safety tools and programs; risk management courses to maintain Section 18 excess eligibility; primary and excess coverage through a single carrier; and a range of coverage options for both physicians and ancillary healthcare providers.

Eligible NYSSPS members of The Doctors Company will also benefit from the Tribute® Plan, which financially rewards doctors for their loyalty and commitment to superior patient care.

The Doctors Company recently expanded its presence in New York and is now offering coverage on an admitted basis. Additionally, New York medical groups can be issued coverage through The Doctors Company Risk Retention Group. Both The Doctors Company and The Doctors Company Risk Retention Group are rated A (Excellent) by A.M. Best Company and Fitch Ratings.

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

June 18, 2018 by matray

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

June 13, 2018 by matray

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

June 8, 2018 by matray

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

June 7, 2018 by matray

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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