The Doctors Company Names New Senior Vice President of Claims
April 26, 2018
The Doctors Company has promoted Catherine Shutack to the position of senior vice president of claims. In her new role, Shutack oversees the claims function throughout all 50 states for The Doctors Company. She reports directly to Bill Fleming, chief operating officer.
“As service is the number one priority of the claims department, this new role provides me with an even greater opportunity to positively impact our members,” said Shutack. “I am proud to lead our claims department employees, who are committed to being the best partners for our members during the most trying times of their professional lives.”
Shutack noted The Doctors Company's claims staff employees are some of the most experienced in the industry and share a passion to vigorously protect and defend members. “Being sued is a devastating, life-changing event for doctors,” said Shutack. “We’re there to support our members at every step, from the moment a claim is filed to when it’s closed.”
Shutack most recently served as vice president of claims for the company’s Northeast region.
“We are extremely pleased to promote Cathy to this national leadership position,” said Fleming. “Through her years with The Doctors Company, she has shown a passion for our members and for tirelessly defending the practice of good medicine. Under Cathy’s leadership, members can be assured they will continue to receive top-notch service throughout the life of their claim.”
A.M. Best Downgrades FSR, Credit Rating for MedMal Direct Insurance Co.; MPL Insurer Requests to No Longer Participate in Rating Process
April 17, 2018
A.M. Best has downgraded the Financial Strength Rating to B- (Fair) from B++ (Good) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating to “bb-” from “bbb” of MedMal Direct Insurance Company (MedMal Direct) (Jacksonville, FL). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) has been revised to negative from stable. Concurrently, A.M. Best has withdrawn the ratings as the company has requested to no longer participate in A.M. Best’s interactive rating process.
The ratings reflect MedMal Direct’s balance sheet strength, which A.M. Best categorizes as adequate, as well as its marginal operating performance, limited business profile and marginal enterprise risk management (ERM).
These rating actions are related partly to MedMal Direct’s prospective balance sheet strength and A.M. Best’s concerns related to ultimate reserve adequacy, and the potential loss emergence and legal actions related to extra contractual obligations and excess of policy limits (as an event subsequently disclosed in the company’s year-end 2017 statutory annual statement). Unfavorable outcomes from each of these could potentially have a negative influence on the parent’s already high debt leverage and ability to cover its cost of capital. Concerns regarding reserve adequacy have increased following recent changes in claims management and changes in reserving practices added to the limitations on the company’s own data due to its relatively short time in operation, as well as adverse reserve development in calendar-year 2017 and each of the prior three accident years. The 2017 reserve increase contributed to a 20% decrease in policyholders’ surplus and significantly decreased capitalization.
The company's operating performance has been below the medical professional liability (MPL) averages and trending negatively in recent years culminating in the significant loss reported in 2017. While claims frequency remains relatively flat, the MPL market is in a prolonged soft pricing cycle. Market dynamics continue to see private practice physicians leaving for employment opportunities with physician groups or hospitals, mergers among physician groups and health care systems, greater medical responsibilities being taken on by physician extenders that were performed previously by physicians, as well as other changes. The business profile is limited by MedMal Direct’s concentration of underwriting risk in MPL lines, mainly in Florida. In recent years, Florida has reversed certain tort reforms that would keep claims frequency and severity in check. However, the company has partially mitigated this by writing most policies at low limits.
Furthermore, in A.M. Best’s opinion, the company’s ERM is marginal. While the company has brought in seasoned leadership in key management positions in recent years, those changes have either followed material deficiencies in operations or precipitated corrective actions and contributed to the company’s marginal operating performance.
The outlooks have been revised to negative based on the challenges facing this company, as earnings and future capital formation may be constrained due to the potential for additional reserve strengthening in the near term and what could become of the legal actions related to the adverse excess of policy limits claims judgment in January 2018. Management is currently reviewing its options in this matter.
Healthcare Matters: 2018 Medical Professional Liability Market Update
April 12, 2018
Healthcare Matters launched new video segments from its "MPLI Executive Insights" series, where executives from companies involved with medical malpractice insurance are interviewed about trending topics and contemporary challenges facing the industry at large.
The two new segments of "MPLI Executive Insights" feature interviews from the 2018 Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS) Healthcare and Medical PL Symposium in Chicago.
In the first video
, Bill Burns, vice president of insurance research at the global investment management firm Conning, expertly discusses the state of the medical professional liability (medical malpractice) insurance industry. In this segment, Burns examines the challenges associated with operating in a soft market where medical malpractice insurance rates have not changed significantly in more than a decade, whether the market will eventually harden or accumulated surplus has created a new normal for MPL insurance pricing and the potential for a few large MPL insurance companies monopolizing the industry.
In the second video
, Andrew Charron, head of healthcare for specialty insurance provider CapSpecialty, shares his insight into the miscellaneous facilities insurance market. In this segment, Charron discusses the booming home health market, challenges associated with a growing market but shrinking premium value and how underwriting speed can often determine who ultimately gets a potential insured's business.
CFC Expands Cyber Policies for U.S. Healthcare Providers
April 9, 2018
Specialty-insurance provider CFC Underwriting recently announced the newest version of its cyber insurance product for U.S. healthcare providers. With the latest policy, CFC enhances its combined cover for privacy and operational disruption with industry-specific features to help healthcare organizations prepare for and respond to cyber incidents as well as comply with industry regulations.
“While most healthcare providers are aware of their privacy and data breach exposures, they can easily overlook cover for operational disruption. The unprecedented increase in malware attacks has shown that operational exposures must be addressed – in fact, we’re now seeing the costs of operational disruption and rebuilding far exceed what a large-scale privacy breach might cost the same entity,” said CFC Cyber Product Leader, James Burns. “Our stand-alone cyber product for the U.S. healthcare sector is tailored to their unique risks, helping limit the impact of a cyber incident on their organization.”
According to CFC, its latest cyber insurance product addresses the exposures and regulatory requirements unique to U.S. healthcare organizations and ensures that core elements of cover are available each time a crisis strikes, even if a policyholder experiences multiple cyber incidents in the same policy period.
CFC’s cyber policies offer the provision of first party cover on an “each and every claim” basis and don’t restrict policyholders with policy aggregates. Additionally, CFC’s cyber offering for U.S. healthcare providers includes cover for HIPAA corrective action plans and cover for bodily injury resulting from a cyber attack alongside cover for the costs associated with improving risk management controls following a breach, system repair costs and incident response costs in addition to the limit.
“CFC offers a market-leading cyber insurance product backed by a global response capability which ensures our policyholders not only have comprehensive cover, but that they can recover quickly from cyber incidents,” Burns said.