Specialized Insurance Available for Fertility Medicine Practitioners through The Doctors Company

July 25, 2018 by matray

Qualified reproductive endocrinologists and infertility specialists (REIs) and their in vitro fertilization (IVF) labs who are members of The Doctors Company are eligible for the REI Protect Program, a highly specialized risk management program founded by Steven L. Katz, MD, a specialist in this field for more than 20 years.

REIs face unique medical malpractice risks because they are focused on the very specialized practice of IVF. To assist in managing these risks, The Doctors Company is partnering with REI Protect to provide the following services to qualified physicians and their labs:

  • Direct access to the program for immediate consultation, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—at no additional cost.
  • Ongoing access to specific REI risk management webinars and state-of-the-art topic discussions.
  • Comprehensive medical malpractice insurance coverage for the individual physicians, entity, and IVF lab employees, directors, and embryologists. Coverage for advanced practice providers and ancillaries is also available.
  • Specialized underwriting and pricing with appropriate specialty classification.

“We created the program to meet the risk management needs of the rapidly developing field of infertility medicine,” Katz said. “IVF labs face unique risks with respect to fertilization, embryo culture, and the storage of cryopreserved sperm, eggs, and embryos. This partnership brings together intimate and expert knowledge of the REI field and IVF lab with The Doctors Company’s 40-plus years of expertise in claims prevention and claims management.”

“This program strongly aligns with our mission to advance the practice of good medicine,” said Laura Kline, senior vice president, business development, The Doctors Company. “By offering these services, we help physicians reduce the risk of laboratory and medical errors. Our eligible members will receive risk management services that originate with incident prevention but extend through incident assessment and problem resolution.”

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CAIPA Renews Agreement with Physicians’ Reciprocal Insurers

July 25, 2018 by matray

Physicians' Reciprocal Insurers (PRI), a medical malpractice insurer in New York State, announced the renewal of a long-standing cooperative agreement with the Coalition of Asian-American IPA (CAIPA). Under the agreement, CAIPA members who are currently insured through PRI, and new members who sign up for medical malpractice coverage, can take advantage of significant discounts off standard rates. PRI offers CAIPA members a 15-percent discount on PRI premiums, and those medical professionals who meet qualifications could receive discounts of up to 39 percent in total. CAIPA is one of the largest Independent Practice Associations in New York City, with more than 1,000 members. CAIPA professionals care for more than 450,000 patients in the region. "CAIPA has been a valued partner to PRI for many years. Renewing our commitment to this highly-respected organization will allow us to continue to provide world-class malpractice insurance to the physicians and medical professionals who rely on our strength," said Bruce Shulan, CEO of PRIMMA, PRI's wholly owned Attorney-in-Fact. "We welcome our returning CAIPA members, and look forward to adding more in the coming months."

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NORCAL Group Foundation Awards Six Grants Focused on Improving Health & Wellness

July 23, 2018 by matray

The NORCAL Group Foundation, dedicated to improving healthcare in local communities, is pleased to announce its Spring 2018 grant recipients. Six organizations have been awarded funding for initiatives and programs focused on patient care, patient safety and physician wellness:

• Asian Health Services  of Oakland, CA

• Indian Doctor’s Club Charitable Foundation, Inc.  of Houston, TX

• Northeast Valley Health Corporation of San Fernando, CA

• St. Anthony Foundation of San Francisco, CA

• The Southwest Florida Free Pain Clinic of Fort Myers, FL

• University Faculty Associates of Fresno, CA

“There are so many opportunities to impact healthcare in local communities,” said Joy Corso, president of the NORCAL Group Foundation. “The work our grant recipients are doing is a great example of meaningful efforts to improve local healthcare for both patients and physicians, and we are very proud to support these endeavors.”

One such endeavor is the FRESNO Project through the University Faculty Associates. This sleep study program identifies factors that lead to excessive fatigue of physicians in the residency program, with the goal of improving the well-being of practitioners—ultimately improving wellness and patient care.

“The generous grant from NORCAL Group Foundation will enable us to expand The FRESNO Project pilot program to all residency and fellowship programs at UCSF Fresno, with the hope to be a model to address physician fatigue across the country,” said Lynn Keenan M.D., clinical professor at UCSF Fresno. “Physician fatigue from sleep deprivation or sleep disorders has been shown to adversely impact learning, judgment, and quality of life.”

Established in 2017, the NORCAL Group Foundation supports improving healthcare in local communities through grant giving focused on patient care, patient safety and physician wellness.  The Foundation is a non-profit organization established by NORCAL Mutual Insurance Company. For more information on eligibility and giving cycles, please visit www.norcalgroupfoundation.org.

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The Doctors Company Names New Senior Vice President of Patient Safety and Risk Management

July 16, 2018 by matray

The Doctors Company today announced the selection of Kerin Torpey Bashaw, MPH, BSN, RN, as senior vice president of patient safety and risk management. Bashaw reports directly to Bill Fleming, chief operating officer.

Bashaw brings more than 20 years of experience to her new role. She has held a variety of positions in healthcare organizations, most recently as corporate vice president of quality for Verity Health Systems in Redwood City, Calif. At Verity, she led the design and implementation of a new evidence-based quality and safety program. She has also served as system vice president of quality for Alameda Health System in Oakland, Calif. She has held other positions as patient safety officer; director of clinical services and operations; and director of accreditation, quality and safety.

“We are extremely pleased that Kerin is leading our patient safety and risk management efforts, which are key to advancing the practice of good medicine,” said Fleming. “Her extensive background in patient safety, risk management, quality, accreditation and operations will support her nationwide team’s focus on utilizing data, measuring quality and delivering service and value to our members.”

“I am truly honored to join a company with a national footprint, history of leadership in the risk and patient safety space and a mission-driven team dedicated to serving and supporting its members,” said Bashaw. “Another quality that attracted me to The Doctors Company is its expertise in healthcare transformation. The company is known nationally for how it supports and guides members through innovation and change.”

Bashaw holds a Master of Public Health degree from Yale University and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Georgetown University. She served as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps and volunteered for active duty in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

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Garrett P. Cronin Joins CMIC Group as Director of Underwriting

July 16, 2018 by matray

CMIC announced today that Garrett P. Cronin has joined the CMIC Group team as its new director of underwriting. 

Prior to joining CMIC, Cronin worked for Chubb Corp. as a national underwriting manager within their Chubb Specialty Business. His background and focus for the past 25 years has been in underwriting of healthcare, public and private management liability commercial business as well as financial institutions.

“Garrett’s robust underwriting experience and expertise will be a tremendous asset to our policyholders as CMIC continues to provide competitive coverage options in a challenging marketplace,” said Stephen J. Gallant, chief executive officer of CMIC Group.

In 1991, Cronin began his insurance career at Travelers working with national accounts in their Managed Care Enrollment Division. In 1994, he worked for Berkshire Hathaway/General Reinsurance in the Alternative Risk Market handling various reinsurance treaties. Following that, he worked for Berkshire's specialty group in New York where he underwrote and managed public and private commercial business. In 2000, he and his family moved to Colorado when he became a broker for AON Financial Services serving clients in the commercial markets. After spending three years in Colorado, he joined Chubb Corp. and relocated back to Connecticut where he has worked in various roles throughout the organization leading and strategizing in multiple underwriting groups.

Cronin received his undergraduate degree in business from Southern Connecticut State University and his MBA from the University of New Haven with a concentration in Finance and Marketing.

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Doctor Burnout in Small Practices Is Dramatically Lower Than National Average, New Study Concludes

July 10, 2018 by matray

Physicians who work in small, independent primary care practices — also known as SIPs — report dramatically lower levels of burnout than the national average (13.5 percent versus 54.4 percent), according to a study led by researchers at NYU School of Medicine published online July 9 in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. The findings indicate that the independence and sense of autonomy that providers have in these small practices may provide some protection against symptoms of burnout. Physician burnout is a major concern for the healthcare industry. It is associated with low job satisfaction, reduced productivity among physicians, and may negatively impact quality of care. Multiple national surveys suggest that more than half of all physicians report symptoms of burnout. Research on physician burnout has focused primarily on hospital settings or large primary care practices. The researchers say that this is the first study that examines the prevalence of burnout among physicians in small independent primary practices—practices with five or fewer physicians. Despite declines in the number of small practices in the United States, primarily due to market forces driving consolidation, close to 70 percent of all primary care office visits occur in small practice settings, according to the American Medical Association. Researchers examined data collected from 235 physicians practicing in 174 SIPs in New York City. The rate of provider reported burnout was 13.5 percent, compared to the 2014 national rate of 54.4 percent. A 2013 meta-analysis of physician surveys conducted in the United States and Europe found that lower burnout rates were associated with greater perceived autonomy, a quality and safety culture at work, effective coping skills, and less work-life conflict. “Burnout is about the practice culture and infrastructure in which primary care doctors work. So the obvious question is: what is it about the work environment that results in low burnout rates in small practices?” says Donna Shelley, MD, professor in the Departments of Population Health and Medicine at NYU Langone Health, and the study’s senior author. “It’s important to study the group that’s not showing high burnout to help us create environments that foster lower burnout rates. The good news is that a culture and systems can be changed to support primary care doctors in a way that would reduce the factors that are leading to burnout.”

How the Study Was Conducted

Researchers analyzed data as part of the HealthyHearts NYC (HHNYC) trial, which is funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s (AHRQ) EvidenceNOW national initiative. AHRQ is a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The HHNYC trial evaluates how practice coaching or facilitation helps SIPs adopt clinical guidelines for the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease. Each physician answered a multiple choice question with response options indicating various levels of burnout. Options ranged from no symptoms of burnout, to feeling completely burned out and questioning whether or not to continue practicing medicine. The question was validated against the Maslach Burnout Inventory, a nationally recognized measure that identifies occupational burnout. Physician respondents were categorized as burned out if they checked one of the last three options in the multiple choice question. As part of the HHNYC trial, physician respondents were also asked a number of questions about the culture of their practices. The tool used specifically measures “adaptive reserve,” or a culture where individuals have opportunities for growth and the ability to learn from mistakes by talking and listening to each other. Physicians who described this kind of culture in their practice reported lower levels of burnout. According to Dr. Shelley, practices where employees feel that they are included in decisions and have control over their work environment are referred to as having “high adaptive reserve.” Dr. Shelley is careful not to minimize the challenges faced by physicians working in solo practices or SIPs. She cites that even though burnout rates are lower, many of these practices are struggling financially, and many of these physicians are on-call all of the time. “The more we can understand what drives low rates of burnout, the more likely it is that we’ll find solutions to this problem,” says Dr. Shelley. “The hope is that our research can inform ways for larger systems to foster autonomy within practices so that there is space to carve out a work environment that is aligned with doctors’ needs, values, and competencies.” Dr. Shelley lists a number of the study’s limitations. Since the findings are representative of physicians working in small practices in New York City, the study does not capture burnout rates in other cities across the country. It is also possible that the researchers underestimated the number of hours worked by physicians, since hours worked is associated with burnout. Dr. Shelley also cited the lack of data linking physician burnout to patient outcomes. The research was supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

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NORCAL Mutual Earns Top Honor at 60th Annual IMCA Awards

July 5, 2018 by matray

NORCAL Mutual Insurance Co. won the coveted SAMMY Award for “best overall work” at the 60th annual Insurance Marketing & Communications Association (IMCA) Showcase Awards on June 26. The award honored NORCAL’s Employee Appreciation campaign, which thanked employees for their hard work throughout 2017. The SAMMY Award, selected by conference participants, recognizes the best overall work among all of the “Award of Excellence” and “Best of Show” winners.

NORCAL also received Awards of Excellence for its Customer Experience Champions launch event and Employee Appreciation campaign, and a Best of Show award for its event.

“It's an honor for our work to be recognized among some of the best marketing and communications minds in the insurance industry,” said Joy Corso, vice president of marketing and communications at NORCAL Mutual. “We are very proud to be selected from such a talented group of peers, and are inspired to build on these accomplishments and drive excellence.”

IMCA is the oldest insurance marketing-communications trade association in North America with a diverse membership of marketing, advertising, digital media, social media, graphic design, public relations, employee communications and corporate communications professionals. Showcase Awards were presented to insurance industry organizations in 37 distinct categories, including advertising, annual reports, corporate print communications, interactive, marketing communications and public relations.

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