How Stand-Alone Medical Malpractice Tail Policies Can Save Money


The medical malpractice insurance environment is always changing and it's hard to know if you're getting the best deal. Click here to learn more about how stand-alone medical malpractice tail policies could save you money. [More]


Claims vs. Occurrence Medical Malpractice Insurance Explained


Claims made and occurrence policies in medical malpractice insurance can be hard to understand. Click here to learn the difference between the two and what they can offer your practice. [More]


The Differences Between Medical Malpractice Insurance Deductibles


One of the most confusing elements of medical malpractice insurance is often the deductable. Learn more about this aspect of your coverage and how to make sure that it meets your exact needs. [More]


Benefits of Slot Coverage for Medical Malpractice Insurance


If your practice involves part-time and full-time physicians, you may feel that you're being overcharged for medical malpractice insurance. Find out if slot coverage is the right option for you. [More]


The Election and Healthcare Reform


On November 8, 2016, Donald J. Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States of America. As of Wednesday morning, Mr. Trump had won 276 electoral votes – 270 electoral votes were needed to win the Presidential election. Mrs. Hillary Rodham Clinton (again as of Wednesday morning) had won 218 electoral votes. [More]


MACRA: Value is a mathematical equation


MACRA created a two-path payment system. Eligible Professionals (EPs), physician(s), and allied professionals can choose either the Merit-Based Incentive Program (MIPS), or the Alternative Payment Models (APMs). CMS’ stated goal for these payment options, noted from their website, is: “The MACRA QPP will help us to move more quickly toward our goal of paying for value and better care.” [More]


MACRA - Coming Reporting Burden


An area we view as a significant concern going forward relates to the Quality Payment Program (QPP) for physician(s) and allied professionals in the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), which repealed the outdated Medicare Part B Sustainable Growth Rate formula (SGR), and combined the existing quality reporting programs, the Physician Quality Reporting Program (PQRM), the Value-Based Payment Modifier (VM), and the Medicare Electronic Health Records Incentive Program (EHR). [More]


Medical Device Cybersecurity


The risks of failure of computer network security and unauthorized disclosure of private information are well-established in healthcare. 2015 was a noteworthy year for large breaches in healthcare, with major hacks against payers and providers, including Anthem and UCLA. In early 2016, the threat of intrusion from ransomware came to the foreground, with Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital publicly disclosing a threat against them and paying a ransom, and many other providers announcing that they also routinely face such attacks (while not necessarily paying the ransom demanded). These ransomware demands threaten the ongoing business activities of the provider, but also patient care and reputation as well.
This paper will review the cyber security risks that medical devices may present and how current insurances may respond to bodily injury exposures. We will also examine the current regulatory oversight of medical device software and security and provide a framework to analyze which insurance policies might respond to the breach, the parties that might be implicated in the chain of responsibility and how those policies collectively respond to bodily injury arising out of the failure of security of a medical device. [More]


West Virginia and Florida Legislatures Take Steps to Address Primary Care Physician Shortage


Anticipated shortfall of primary care physicians in 2025 of between 12,500 to 31,100 unfilled vacancies. This shortfall is caused by a growing and aging population and increased participation in the U.S. healthcare system. While the number of medical school enrollments has increased by 6.2, the number of residency openings available for primary care physicians (including general and family practice, general internal medicine, general pediatrics, and geriatric medicine) has only increased by 1%. These openings represent only 14.5% of the residency positions offered. [More]


Medicare & Medicaid Costs and Increased Scrutiny


Almost two years ago in April 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released for the first time in 35 years data outlining provider reimbursements. A Wall Street Journal article noted at the time that the data released, which was from Calendar Year 2012, indicated the “top 1% of 825,000 individual medical providers accounted for 14% of the $77 billion in billing recorded in the data”. While this data is not new to the fraud investigators it certainly sheds a light for the public as to where the investigators might focus their efforts. [More]


What does it cost to defend a malpractice claim?


A question that comes up regularly is that of “defense” costs. Ask any person involved in an insurance claim that required a defense attorney how much the insurance company spent defending your case, and I doubt you will find anybody who knows know the true cost. [More]


Recent Scam - Social Engineering Fraud Endorsement


In recent weeks, a number of our clients have experienced scams that all have similar characteristics. The following is a representative example of the sort of activity we are seeing:

Our client’s CFO received what appeared to be an email from the company CEO instructing him to wire funds to another bank to support a proposed real estate transaction. Everything about this email appeared authentic and the request was not out of the realm of normal business transactions for our client, but it soon became clear that the email was sent from a third-party thief. Learn more about this type of scam... [More]


Equipment Maintenance Alternatives


Let’s begin with full disclosure - I don’t buy maintenance agreements or extended warranties of any for any type for any type of product; including cars, refrigerators, cell phones, computers, printers, couches, driveways or anything else. Some might argue that it is prudent to warranty some of these items. However, my view is that in the long-run, it doesn’t make sense.

Now don’t get me wrong; I think there is a place for the short-term standard warranty that you automatically get when buying a product. There is always the possibility that you could wind up with a “lemon.” But financing extended warranties may not be the best decision for your organization.

Extended maintenance agreements are financial instruments. A good CFO is always looking to save money and get the best return on investment. Below we examine the pros and cons of these products. [More]


Insurance carrier claims cyber exclusion – not obligated to pay $4.1 million settlement


The article from Business Insurance is instructive as to the fluid legal nature behind cyber liability, data breach coverage and the need to have closely analyzed the policy form. An insurance carrier is asking a court of law to rule that they are not obligated to pay a $4.1 million dollar class-action settlement. The insured was Cottage Health System, based in Santa Barbara, California which had approximately 32,500 confidential medical records exposed to the internet. [More]


Humidity Levels in Surgical Settings


Recently, risk managers around the country have been called into internal discussions regarding “humidity requirements” in a surgical setting or operating room (OR). What are they? What should we be doing? What is required?

There have been a number of questions and conflicting interpretations of standards concerning relative humidity requirements (especially in California). In addition to the confusion we have seen about standards interpretation, there is also a “be careful what you wish for…” scenario that has developed. [More]


Basics of Patient Compensation Funds By State


One question that come up with some regularity in working with our various independent physician and physician group insureds is, “We will soon begin practicing in a new state; what do we need to know?” In many cases, this new state is one of the eight states in the country that has established a Patient Compensation Fund (PCF), and providing our insureds with relevant, understandable information and assisting with the complex compliance and enrollment processes these funds entail is one of the most tangible benefits of working with an experienced and knowledgeable Gallagher insurance professional. [More]


When and Why to Shop for Malpractice Insurance


The question I get from my existing client base on a yearly basis is "why do we shop for malpractice insurance and when do we shop?" I’ve developed what I think is the best way to approach this question. [More]


The Doctors Company On Defending Against Malpractice Allegations in Highly Publicized Cases


The media and general public often empathize with the patient when allegations of malpractice are raised. For a physician, this predisposition can be terrifying because it automatically paints the doctor as at fault, even when best practices were clearly followed. This video, presented by The Doctors Company (TDC), discusses the malpractice suit leveled against a physician in Texas involving a patient who overdosed on prescription drugs shortly after being treated. [More]


The never-ending issues of “tail coverage”


If you’re a physician purchasing tail coverage or a physician who is changing the carrier you’re insured with, you should be reading this. Fully understanding how your tail coverage works and the intricacies behind it, from a coverage standpoint, should be fully understood by you or by the person helping you (your broker). I’ll give two examples about what I’m referring to and why it’s important. [More]


Employment Practices Liability


Employment practices liability is an area of law focused on issues such as sexual harassment, discrimination, breach of contract, and wrongful termination, along with related issues. Wage and hour law violations are also included in this particular focus area. [More]