AM Best Assigns “Excellent” Credit Ratings to West Virginia Mutual Insurance Company

November 22, 2022 by matray

AM Best has assigned a Financial Strength Rating of A (Excellent) and a Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “a+” (Excellent) to West Virginia Mutual Insurance Company (WVMIC) (Charleston, WV). The outlook assigned to these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable. 

The ratings reflect WVMIC’s inclusion as a member company under MAG Mutual Holding Co. (MAG Mutual), which has a consolidated balance sheet strength of strongest, as well as adequate operating performance, a neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.

The ratings also reflect the explicit support provided to WVMIC through the implementation of a reinsurance pooling agreement with MAG Mutual Insurance Co., the lead company of MAG Mutual.

WVMIC has been a wholly owned subsidiary of MAG Mutual since Nov. 1, 2020, and currently underwrites medical professional liability insurance for physicians and physician networks in West Virginia.

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The Doctors Company Offers Educational Video Series — Financial and Workplace Well-Being for Doctors: Lessons for Life After Medical School

November 17, 2022 by matray

The Doctors Company announced today that it is offering a new lecture series, Financial and Workplace Well-Being for Doctors: Lessons for Life After Medical School, from Ronald H. Wender, MD, FACA, chairman emeritus and professor of anesthesiology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and member of The Doctors Company Board of Governors. This free, academic lecture series is designed to help doctors take control of their financial and workplace well-being, so they can focus on what they do best — providing superior patient care.

“The Doctors Company is proud to partner with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center to offer this lecture series to newly practicing physicians,” said Richard E. Anderson, MD, FACP, chairman and CEO of The Doctors Company and TDC Group. “It is in our mission to serve those who provide care, and we anticipate all physicians will find this series valuable.”

In response to a 2021 California Medical Association survey that found 64% of physicians expressed a desire for financial guidance, and 95% of physician practices reported concern about their financial well-being, the 23-part video series provides expert advice on the realities of financial planning, medical malpractice and hospital economics that physicians encounter upon graduating medical school.

“When you leave medical school, you need to be prepared for managing debt, finances and patients who may sue you; we want medical providers to be ready for these harsh realities,” Wender said. “In my forty-six years of practice, I saw many healthcare providers overwhelmed with life challenges. I hope this will be a useful resource for new physicians in their future endeavors.”

Each lecture includes a question/answer addendum section with supplemental information.

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MPL Stalwart Paul Greve Announced as the Founders Award Winner at the 2022 PLUS Conference

November 16, 2022 by matray

Paul Greve, JD, RPLU, Sr. Director, Markel has been awarded the winner of the 2022 PLUS Founders award at the 35th annual PLUS Conference, held November 8-11 in San Diego, CA.

The Founders Award recognizes a member of PLUS who has made lasting and outstanding contributions to Society. The award is presented in honor of PLUS Founder Angelo J. Gioia. Criteria used when selecting the Founders Award recipient include membership in PLUS, participation in PLUS activities, creativity and innovation when needed to address PLUS tasks, amount of time and effort dedicated to the organization, promotion of PLUS in the industry and to the public in general, or other contributions to the image of PLUS, and involvement in developing, implementing, improving and/or continuing PLUS programs.

Greve was chosen for this prestigious award for his 20 years of experience as an administrator, risk manager and attorney for major hospitals in Ohio, including Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals of Cleveland, Columbus Children’s Hospital and St. Luke’s Hospital in Cleveland. Paul also has 20-plus years’ of experience in the healthcare professional liability insurance industry as a broker and consultant.

He has also worked for two healthcare professional liability insurance companies including MedPro Group and Markel Specialty. Paul worked for Willis for 19 years. He is the Past President of the Ohio Society of Hospital Risk Managers and holds the designation of Distinguished Fellow of the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management in addition to the RPLU designation.

Greve has authored many articles on medical professional liability and risk management and contributed to medical textbook chapters and legal journals. He has spoken at many healthcare professional liability insurance industry conferences, including PLUS. He co-chaired the first PLUS Medical Professional Liability Symposium. Paul has contributed many articles to the PLUS Journal and has served on the PLUS Editorial Board.

“Paul is incredibly deserving of this award,” said Robbie Thompson, CEO of PLUS. “His contributions to PLUS extend deep and he has been a key contributor in developing content and programming for PLUS events for many years. We’re honored to have him accept this award and recognize his commitment to PLUS.”

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COPIC Hires Ted Tzeng to be its Chief Information Officer

November 15, 2022 by matray

COPIC hired Ted Tzeng to be its new chief information officer (CIO). A strategic technology executive with demonstrated success transforming business through product development, IT automation and data-driven solutions, Tzeng previously led high performing teams to build innovative customer experiences, according to COPIC. He holds a bachelor of science degree, business and economics from Lehigh University and is PMP certified.

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RT Specialty Acquires Centurion Liability Insurance Services

November 10, 2022 by matray

Ryan Specialty recently acquired certain assets of Centurion Liability Insurance Services, LLC. Centurion is a professional lines wholesale insurance broker with employees based in Florida and California. Prior to the acquisition, Centurion was partially owned by Insurance Office of America (IOA).

“We are thrilled to add the Centurion professional liability experts to RT Specialty,” said Tim Turner, chairman and CEO of RT Specialty and president of Ryan Specialty. “Their expertise, drive for exceptionalism and approach fit perfectly with the Ryan Specialty culture. We look forward to having these individuals as a part of the RT Specialty team.”

“IOA has a long-standing relationship with Ryan Specialty, and we look forward to enhancing that relationship with the sale of Centurion,” said Heath Ritenour, chairman and CEO of IOA. Further, we’re excited for the Centurion team, who will benefit from joining Ryan Specialty’s industry-leading professional liability team and independent business model. We believe independence is critical to the long-term success of the wholesale insurance brokerage industry. This deal is unambiguously advantageous for Centurion, its employees, and its clients.”

“I am immensely proud of what the Centurion team has accomplished since our founding in 2007,” said Zulma Zak, Centurion president. “It has been a pleasure to serve our many clients and friends and we look forward to continuing and strengthening these relationships as part of Ryan Specialty.”

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

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Medical Liability Monitor November 2022 Issue Highlights

November 7, 2022 by matray

COVID Burnout Driving Dangerous Decline in Healthcare Workforce
COVID-related stress is exacerbating the number of healthcare workers leaving the medical profession, according to a newly released data report from the commercial intelligence company Definitive Healthcare. According to the data, as many as 333,942 healthcare workers exited the profession in 2021. An estimated 117,000 physicians, 53,295 nurse practitioners and 22,704 physician assistants left the medicine between the first quarter of 2020 and fourth quarter of 2021. The provider specialties experiencing the greatest declines during that period were internal medicine (15,000), family practice (13,015) and clinical psychology (10,874) …

NSO Report: Medical Liability Claim Costs for Nurse Practitioners Rising Sharply
The average total incurred costs for a medical liability claim against a nurse practitioner (NP) increased to $332,137, a jump of more than 10.5% since 2017, according to a newly released closed-claims report by the Nurses Service Organization (NSO), a division of Aon Affinity. The more than 10.5% increase in NP claim costs during the past five years more than doubles the 5.2% increase that the NSO recorded between 2012 and 2017 …

Predictions of Skyrocketing Medical Liability Claims Follow Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s Reversal of Medical Malpractice Venue Rule
In a decision causing quite a stir among medical professionals, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently reversed a 20-year-old rule regarding venue for medical malpractice actions. On Aug. 25, 2022, the high court adopted amendments to Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure 1006, 2130, 2156 and 2179, which govern venue in medical malpractice actions. Prior to this decision, medical malpractice cases could be filed only in the county where the alleged adverse medical care or treatment occurred …

Physicians Insurance Introduces Criminal Defense Reimbursement Rider
Following the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, Physicians Insurance A Mutual Co. introduced its Criminal Defense Reimbursement Coverage rider, which adds to its physician and hospital professional liability insurance coverage for the reimbursement of defense costs and legal fees incurred when responding to criminal allegations that arise from patient care. While medical professional liability policies have historically excluded coverage for criminal actions, the Criminal Defense Reimbursement Coverage rider provides up to $250,000 in coverage to reimburse an insured provider for the legal costs spent successfully defending against criminal charges involving direct patient care. Under the new coverage, criminal action is defined as a criminal proceeding following an arrest or indictment, an official request for extradition and/or a criminal or regulatory investigation that includes a medical board ...

Subscribe today to get this issue (as well as the 2022 Annual Rate Survey at no additional cost).

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Medical Malpractice Trial Lawyer Suzanne M. Utke Joins Marshall Dennehey’s Health Care Department in Philadelphia

November 7, 2022 by matray

Medical malpractice trial lawyer and licensed nurse Suzanne M. Utke, RN, BSN, MHA, JD, has joined the Philadelphia office of Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, Coleman & Goggin PC as a shareholder in its Health Care Department. Previously, Utke was a partner at Weber Gallagher.

For more than two decades, Utke has represented physicians, nurses and all manner of health care professionals and corporate healthcare facilities against medical malpractice claims and lawsuits. Prior to earning her law degree, she had a successful career in medicine as a critical care nurse working in clinical settings. Utke also was a nursing administrator for several years, tenured in intensive care units, emergency rooms and obstetric departments.

“There are few medical malpractice attorneys in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania who possess the depth of experience in both law and medicine that Suzanne brings to the table,” said T. Kevin FitzPatrick, director of Marshall Dennehey’s Health Care Department. “Her nursing background and institutional knowledge of healthcare systems and operations give her the edge in defending medical professional liability claims, and she has the track record to prove it. We are delighted to welcome her aboard.”

Utke’s healthcare liability practice also focuses on the defense of behavioral health claims, as well as claims involving medical devices and associated liability. She represents physicians and physician practice groups in negotiation with healthcare systems for employment matters and mergers. Admitted to practice in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, she has prevailed in defense verdicts appealed to the Pennsylvania and New Jersey Supreme Courts.

Utke’s academic background includes the Thomas Jefferson University School of Nursing where she earned her RN; a BSN in nursing from Widener University School of Nursing; a masters degree in health administration (MHA) from St. Joseph’s University; and a JD from the Widener University School of Law.

Utke is rated AV-Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating for an attorney’s professional and ethical competence. Among her numerous professional affiliations, Utke is a member of the New Jersey Trial Attorneys Association, the Philadelphia Association of Defense Counsel, the Society of Healthcare Risk Managers (Philadelphia chapter), the Defense Research Institute (Medical Liability & Health Care Law, and Drug and Medical Device Committees) and the National Association of Professional Women.  

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Kirk C. Tweedy Joins Integris Group as Chief Operating Officer

October 26, 2022 by matray

Integris Group announced Kirk C. Tweedy has joined the company as its chief operating officer.

According to Integris, Tweedy has 32 years of insurance experience across multiple disciplines, product lines and distribution channels. Most recently, he held the position of chief operating officer at Berkley Small Business Solutions in Wilmington, Del., where he was responsible for all areas of the business, including growth, profitability, planning, execution, staff recruitment and staff development. Prior to that, Tweedy was the vice president, head of Agencies, Compliance & Administration (National) at Farmers Insurance in Woodland Hills, Calif.

“Kirk’s operational expertise will prove to be an asset for the company in streamlining our workflows, implementing process improvement, and enhancing our strategic planning and execution,” said Stephen J. Gallant, Integris chief executive officer. “This will enable us to continue to grow the company while still providing comprehensive insurance products and the highest level of customer service to our members.”

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AM Best Assigns ‘A’ Credit Ratings to MMIC Risk Retention Group, Inc.

October 18, 2022 by matray

AM Best has assigned a Financial Strength Rating of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “a” to MMIC Risk Retention Group, Inc. (MMIC RRG). The outlook assigned to these Credit Ratings is stable. MMIC RRG is a sponsored risk retention group of Constellation, Inc., the parent company of MMIC Insurance, Inc., which is the lead member of Constellation Insurance Group (Constellation).

The ratings of MMIC RRG reflect the consolidated balance sheet strength of Constellation, which AM Best categorizes as strongest, as well as its adequate operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.

The rating assignment level reflects MMIC RRG’s role as a member of Constellation. Explicit support is provided to MMIC RRG through participation in a quota share reinsurance program with MMIC Insurance, Inc. In addition, MMIC RRG is fully integrated into Constellation’s operations and strategic plans, including a centralized management structure.

Constellation sponsored the formation of MMIC RRG in 2011 to meet the geographic expansions needs beyond its licensed territories. Constellation specializes in providing medical professional liability insurance to physicians, clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities, ancillary healthcare providers, long term care facilities and also offers self-insured retention options.

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LAMMICO Celebrates 40 Years of Stability, Strength and Service

October 11, 2022 by matray

LAMMICO is celebrating 40 years of providing medical professional liability insurance coverage in 2022.

Founded during a period when physicians across the nation were faced with a hard market crisis where many commercial insurance providers were unwilling to offer medical malpractice coverage or would offer it only at exorbitant rates. In direct response to the crisis, leadership of state medical societies throughout the country founded medical professional liability mutual insurance companies to bring affordability and stability to the insurance marketplace. The leadership of the Louisiana State Medical Society (LSMS) recommended the formation of Louisiana Medical Mutual Insurance Company (LAMMICO) in August 1981. LAMMICO, a mutual insurance company, issued its first policy effective Jan. 1, 1982.

In its 40 years, LAMMICO has grown from an idea in the minds of a progressive group of Louisiana physicians to a company that now insures more than 8,000 physicians, nurses, healthcare professionals, hospitals and facilities in seven states. LAMMICO is committed to providing unparalleled service to its policyholders while continuing to expand its insurance products and service territories to meet the needs of the regional healthcare industry.

In its early years, LAMMICO had only a handful of full-time employees. Today, the Company is proud to have 120 employees, most of whom are based out of LAMMICO’s Louisiana offices with some telecommuters located in other states.

LAMMICO’s commitment to its corporate social responsibility program is reflected in the support of medically-related charitable programs that serve areas where their employees live and work. The Company’s community development efforts are an extension of the enduring partnerships LAMMICO builds with its policyholders. These partnerships include support of and participation in the activities of the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society, among others.

"We are extremely honored to have been an enduring partner to the healthcare community for the past 40 years, and we look forward to serving them for decades to come,” says J. Michael Conerly, MD, LAMMICO president and chief executive officer. “LAMMICO’s purpose is to protect those who care for others. As we celebrate our 40th anniversary, LAMMICO remains a strong and stable presence so that physicians and healthcare providers can focus on what matters most — patient care.”

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