The Doctors Company Expands Presence in New York Medical Malpractice Market as Admitted Insurer

September 29, 2017 by matray

The Doctors Company announced yesterday that it is now offering coverage on an admitted basis to New York healthcare providers. The New York Department of Financial Services’ recent approval of the company’s manual rate and secondary filings officially confirmed the company’s expanded presence. The Napa, Calif.-based insurer of medical liability is promising a wide variety of benefits to New York members. These benefits include risk management courses required by the state for physicians to maintain Section 18 excess eligibility, excess and primary coverage through a single carrier, coverage for both physicians and ancillary healthcare providers as well as professional and management liability policies for a variety of organizations and healthcare professionals — including medical and longterm care facilities, managed care organizations and life sciences — through its specialty lines subsidiary, TDC Specialty Underwriters.

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ISMIE Expands its Product and Service Lines in Missouri

September 29, 2017 by matray

ISMIE Mutual Insurance Co. and ISMIE Indemnity announced plans yesterday for expanded service and product offerings in the state of Missouri. With a recent updated rate filing, the companies will offer medical liability coverage for individual health professionals, groups and healthcare facilities. ISMIE plans to pursue new business in Missouri as a component of its national expansion plan.

“For many years, we at ISMIE have been proud to serve our Illinois policyholders who have extended their practices into the state of Missouri,” saidPaul H. DeHaan, MD, ISMIE vice chairman. “Today, we’re very pleased to offer Missouri-based professionals our entire suite of products and services that have been developed and provided over 40 years in one of the toughest medical litigation environments in America.”

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ISMIE Expands Michigan Footprint

September 21, 2017 by matray

ISMIE Mutual Insurance Co. and ISMIE Indemnity announced plans today for expanded service and product offerings in the state of Michigan. With a recent updated rate filing, the companies will offer medical liability coverage for individual health professionals, groups and healthcare facilities.

“ISMIE has had a Michigan presence for many years; today we are proud to announce an expansion in the state,” saidPaul H. DeHaan, MD, ISMIE vice chairman. “We expect a strong response from health professionals, groups and facilities as they become familiar with ISMIE’s service offerings.”

“Our risk management program, claims support and practice-specific coverage flexibility have made us No. 1 in Illinois and will address the needs of policyholders in the national marketplace,” said Wayne de Nazarie, ISMIE executive vice president. “We are excited to work with our agency partners to offer flexible medical liability coverage options for Michigan health professionals and across care delivery settings.”

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ISMIE Risk Management Symposium to Examine Emerging Risks in Patient Safety, Medical Professional Liability

September 19, 2017 by matray

ISMIE Mutual Insurance Co. announced its 2nd Annual Risk Management Symposium: Emerging Risks. This daylong conference will be held November 17 at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Rosemont, Ill., and is open to all interested healthcare professionals and administrators.

This year’s symposium will feature keynotes and individual breakout sessions focusing on changing care models, patient safety, genetic testing, opioid abuse, polypharmacy, pharmacogenomics, cybersecurity, health IT and more. Speakers this year will include Amy Compton-Philips, MD; Wendy Chung, MD, PhD; Alex Ricardo; Ryan R. Nash, MD, MA; Geeta Nayyar, MD, MBA; Russ B. Altman, MD, PhD; and Tejal K. Gandhi, MD, MPH, CPPS.

“This conference underscores our longstanding commitment to developing innovative, effective risk management education,” saidPaul H. DeHaan, MD, ISMIE vice chairman. “We’ve built on last year’s highly successful inaugural symposium and will be bringing together a new line-up of nationally recognized speakers to examine the risks and opportunities on the horizon for all healthcare professionals.”

“As ISMIE continues to expand nationwide, we’re very pleased to offer our approach to patient safety to an even wider audience,” he added.

ISMIE policyholders can attend the symposium for free. Substantial discounts are available for Illinois State Medical Society members and employed staff of ISMIE policyholders. Additional early-bird savings are available to those who register before October 1.

Visit www.ismierms.com for more information.

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NORCAL Provides Premium Relief for Florida, Georgia Policyholders Through November 1

September 13, 2017 by matray

Due to the severe impact and debilitating effects of Hurricane Irma, NORCAL Mutual Insurance Company is providing premium payment relief to all policyholders throughout Florida and Georgia. NORCAL will extend premium payment due dates for those impacted by Hurricane Irma until November 1 to ensure policyholders are able to work through the aftermath of the storm without any disruption of coverage.  Additionally, no cancellations will be issued during this grace period to those affected by the storm.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with our policyholders and business partners affected by this storm and as they face a long road of recovery ahead,” NORCAL President and Chief Executive Officer Scott Diener said. 

For medical practices that experience high water damage, NORCAL’s risk management team has provided actionable tips for protecting patient data that may be damaged. These disaster recovery resources can be found on the NORCAL website at norcal-group.com/Irma.

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A.M. Best Downgrades Credit Ratings of Kansas Medical Mutual Insurance Co.; Assigns Credit Ratings to KaMMCO Casualty Co., Inc.

September 8, 2017 by matray

A.M. Best has downgraded the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) to A- (Excellent) from A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating (Long-Term ICR) to “a-” from “a” of Kansas Medical Mutual Insurance Company (KaMMCO) (Topeka, KS). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) has been revised to negative from stable. In addition, A.M. Best has assigned an FSR of A- (Excellent) and a Long-Term ICR of “a-” to KaMMCO Casualty Company, Inc. (KaMMCO Casualty) (Topeka, KS), KaMMCO’s wholly owned subsidiary. The outlook assigned to these ratings is negative. The two companies comprise the Kansas Medical Mutual Group. The rating downgrades of KaMMCO are based on the company’s unfavorable underwriting performance since 2014, and below average investment returns, which have adversely impacted overall earnings performance. Despite the company’s strong balance sheet, profitability falls significantly below the medical professional liability (MPL) composite averages. This is further compounded by the company’s mono-line concentration in underwriting MPL lines, primarily in Kansas. Market conditions for MPL insurers are highly competitive, pricing is soft and significant changes in healthcare delivery and shifts in the legal environment have presented KaMMCO with challenges to achieving underwriting profitability. To counter these headwinds, KaMMCO is expanding its business profile by providing MPL clients with services and information technology solutions to generate more non-risk revenue through a subsidiary. However, this operation has not achieved the scale it needs to reach break-even profitability. A.M. Best is concerned about the group’s ability to expand subsidiary operations to reach the economy of scale needed to make a profitable product in the near term, and that the operation will continue to be a drag on earnings. KaMMCO is the leading provider of MPL and hospital professional liability coverage in Kansas. The company had historically produced strong earnings that were better than the MPL composite averages. The rating outlooks are negative given the current weak earnings trend, the difficult market conditions and the company’s concentration of risk. The ratings may be downgraded again if management is unable to show improving and sustainable profitability. The ratings of KaMMCO have been assigned to KaMMCO Casualty due to a 100% intercompany quota share reinsurance agreement. The ratings also take into consideration the challenges associated with expanding products and services to non-traditional business sources, offset by its strong alliance with the group, including board membership, and the role KaMMCO Casualty plays in providing the ability to diversify the group’s product line inside and outside of Kansas. Key functions provided to KaMMCO Casualty by KaMMCO include risk management, continuing medical education and claims administration services. A.M. Best believes that positive rating movement for Kansas Medical Mutual Group may occur should operating performance trends through the insurance operations improve significantly and consistently meet or exceed MPL composite averages. Negative rating action could occur if there is a continued deterioration in operating performance. Negative rating action also could occur if there is a significant decline in risk-adjusted capitalization.

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Coverys Announces Agreement to Acquire Global Insurance Management Company, Inc.

September 6, 2017 by matray

Coverys and Global Insurance Management Company, Inc. (GIMC), a provider of medical professional liability insurance, announced today that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement pursuant to which Coverys’ ProMutual Group will acquire GIMC. GIMC and the predecessors to its insurance subsidiary, Healthcare Underwriters Group, Inc., were founded by physicians and insurance professionals in 2003 to bring longterm availability, predictability and stability to the marketplace in Florida, Ohio and Kentucky. Since that time, GIMC has expanded to Texas, Indiana and Nevada. With this acquisition, Coverys continues to expand its delivery of products and services to meet the demands of the changing healthcare market. The combination of the two companies will strengthen GIMC’s ability to offer superior products and services to a core group of hospital and physician policyholders. “GIMC brings knowledge and experience in the marketplace, providing Coverys the opportunity to further expand our footprint into Florida and Kentucky as well as increase our market share in Ohio,” said Gregg L. Hanson, Coverys president and chief executive officer. “Coverys policyholders benefit from the group’s A rating with A.M. Best, and through this acquisition, we will seek to offer Healthcare Underwriters Group policyholders the same strength and protection.” “GIMC policyholders will benefit from this acquisition by being a part of a larger healthcare professional liability group with a greater level of financial stability and greater access to enhanced products and services, and the ability to issue policies in all 50 states,” said Joshua Salman, GIMC prsident and chief executive officer. “GIMC shareholders will receive significant value for the business we have built since 2003.” “Since our founding in 2003, we have built our company on the principles of serving physicians, defending good medicine and providing the best possible resources to existing and new policyholders,” said Steven Shapiro, MD, chair of the board for GIMC. “We have found a great partner in Coverys, who shares our values and our commitment to those principles. I am confident that together, we will continue to provide strong insurance and high-quality service to our policyholders.” “We are pleased to announce this partnership between our two physician-founded companies. We look forward to welcoming GIMC’s policyholders to Coverys,” said Brenda E. Richardson, MD, chair of the board for Coverys. “Together, we will have increased financial strength and will continue our joint commitment to advance, protect and reward the practice of good medicine.” The GIMC Board of Directors has unanimously approved the transaction and has resolved to recommend that its shareholders approve the merger agreement. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2017 and is subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of regulatory approvals and approval by the holders of a majority of the outstanding shares of GIMC common stock. Sherman & Company LLC served as financial advisor and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP served as legal advisor to Coverys. Sandler O'Neill + Partners, L.P. acted as exclusive financial advisor and Thompson Hine LLP served as legal advisor to GIMC.

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ProAssurance Establishes the Nation’s First Academic Research Program Dedicated to Physician Wellness

September 6, 2017 by matray

ProAssurance Corp. today announced the establishment of the ProAssurance Endowed Chair for Physician Wellness at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. This academic chair is the first of its kind in the United States. The initial $1.5 million gift to the UAB School of Medicine will endow an academic chair and also support a research team dedicated to addressing health issues that are unique to physicians as they deal with the stress and pressures associated with providing care to their patients in today’s rapidly evolving healthcare environment. “Physicians have always been subject to the high levels of stress from a variety of factors such as society’s expectations for successful outcomes, the threat of litigation and the effect of their professional obligations on the quality of their lives and their families’ lives,” said Stan Starnes, ProAssurance chairman and chief executive officer, as he announced the endowment. “As medicine evolves to address the changing dynamic of healthcare in America, we must find ways to address these pressures.” “UAB leadership is committed at the highest level to provide our physicians, residents, fellows and trainees the same type of world-class care they provide for the citizens of Alabama and beyond,” said Ray L. Watts, University of Alabama Birmingham president. “This generous investment by ProAssurance to fund a first-of-its-kind academic chair will enable us to recruit an expert in the field of physician wellness who can implement well-designed interventions that enhance our sustainable culture of wellness and provide trainees with tools and resources to manage stress and burnout. The result will be more engaged physicians who can provide the highest-quality care to their patients.” ProAssurance also expects to provide an additional gift of $500,000 to fund various initiatives in support of physician wellness. The company’s Chief Medical Officer, Hayes V. Whiteside, MD, said such programs are a logical extension of ProAssurance’s role as a trusted partner with physicians and the nation’s healthcare community. “Assisting physicians has always been a high priority for ProAssurance,” he said. “Now more than ever, we need to ensure that today’s physicians maintain their commitment to our high calling, and that future physicians are equipped to deal with the realities of their vital chosen profession.” “We are fortunate to have some of the best physicians in America right here in Birmingham as part of our School of Medicine, and it is important that we consistently work to provide them an environment that promotes wellness opportunities to help them flourish in their field,” said Selwyn Vickers, MD, senior vice president of medicine and dean of UAB’s School of Medicine. “Doctors who take care of themselves are better role models for their patients and for their children, have higher patient satisfaction and safety scores, experience less stress and burn out, and live longer. We are grateful to ProAssurance for their gift, which will greatly enhance our training programs and enable them to create a sustainable culture of wellness.” In addition to the funds being committed to addressing physician wellness, ProAssurance plans to make an additional financial gift to the UAB School of Nursing to enhance the future of nursing care in Alabama. “Nurses are a crucial part of the care delivery team in our state, and their role will become increasingly important as our healthcare delivery systems expand to meet the demands that will come with the exponential growth of an aging population,” Starnes said. “Nursing is one of the most versatile — and vital — occupations in the healthcare workforce, and we strive to train innovative leaders who will transform healthcare,” said Doreen Harper, PhD, dean and Fay B. Ireland endowed chair in UAB’s School of Nursing. “The ever-evolving landscape of healthcare and the changing profile of the population demand a fundamental shift in the healthcare system to provide patientcentered care. More nurses will be needed to deliver primary care and community care, ensure seamless care, foster interprofessional collaboration and enable all health professionals to practice to the full extent of their education, training and competencies. This shift will result in reduced errors, increased safety and the highest-quality care for patients. We are delighted and appreciative that ProAssurance is providing this support to help us shape patient-centered healthcare by preparing recognized nurse leaders who excel as clinicians, researchers and educators in Alabama, nationally and internationally.”

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