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]

Increased Healthcare M&A Activity: Representation and Warranty Insurance Coverage

The business of managing and operating health care facilities has grown increasingly more complex since the enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) in 2010 and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Heath Act (HITECH) in 2009. Each medical facility must conform to a variety of new rules and regulations that include, but are not limited to: the adoption of Electronic Health Records (EHR), and the preparation for the transition to the 10th revision for the International Classification for Diseases (ICD-10) by October 1, 2015. The result has been a dramatic increase in healthcare mergers and acquisitions, as practice and facility budgets are not prepared to absorb the associated costs and additional liabilities. [More]

Premium wise, but finance foolish

“I can save you 30% off your insurance premium?” Have you heard this before? A competitor recently advised our client they could ‘save’ them over $200,000 on their annual premium by simply increasing their retention.

What was our answer? “Yes, that’s true, but ...” [More]

Coming soon — ICD-10 … “Help!”

As of today, assuming that the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) doesn’t kick the implementation date down the road again, effective as of October 15, 2015, “The transition to ICD-10 is required for everyone covered by HIPAA or the Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act.” ICD stands for International Classification of Diseases and concerns the medical diagnoses and inpatient procedures that are coded for all hospital procedures. In raw terms, the health-care coding system is transitioning from roughly 15,000 codes to 68,000 codes. [More]

Buy up enhancements for regulatory audits and cyber

While you undoubtedly have some form of malpractice insurance already, it may be wise to reexamine and up your policy in a number of different areas, namely regulatory audits and cyber coverage. This is due to the fact that healthcare laws have gone through a sea change in recent years due to Obamacare, leaving certain healthcare providers vulnerable through the policies that they purchased before these laws were passed. Additions to this policy will cost the average physician around $1,500 to $1,700 per year, which is pennies on the dollar compared to the type of protection it provides and what it will cost you if you aren’t properly covered in these newly reformed areas. [More]

Choosing a MPL Carrier: Admited, Surplus, or RRG

If you are searching for the best medical malpractice insurance policies, you may be faced with terms like admitted and regulated coverage, Risk Retention Groups and surplus lines. What follows below is helpful information about the multiple forms of malpractice insurance available to you. [More]

HIPAA Impact on Risk Management

Today everyone in the healthcare industry is aware of the impact of HIPAA, (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) on their daily activities. Protection of patient privacy is a paramount concern as release of patient information can have serious consequences for the patient as well as the provider. While every healthcare worker has an awareness of these regulations, few realize how easily an infraction of policy can be committed, and the associated risk to management is significant. [More]

What is a Waiver of Subrogation, and What Does It Do?

Requests for waiver(s) of subrogation are commonly seen in health-care staffing contracts and generally are implemented by the contractor without a great deal of thought. Here we will briefly examine what a Waiver of Subrogation does and this mechanism’s impact on medical staffing liability programs. [More]

Medical Malpractice Claims Trigger: Incident vs. Written Demand

One of the most overlooked aspects of a malpractice insurance policy is the claims-trigger, or what [More]

Medical Malpractice Discounts - Are you maximizing yours?

When searching the market for medical malpractice insurance, it is incredibly important to make sure you are receiving all of the discounts you deserve. There are multiple ways in which you can save, and without a broker, you will likely overlook these opportunities. There are many different discount opportunities that can vary from carrier to carrier. Some of the most common opportunities for savings include board certification, new doctor discounts, risk management credits, claims free history, part time, group discounts, and JCAHO. [More]

Directors & Officers Liability

Lawsuits within healthcare organizations don’t only come from medical malpractice or professional liability claims. Some of the most expensive cases result from suits against the directors and officers of the organization. Directors and officers liability, more commonly referred to as D&O, is especially important within the healthcare industry. Claims and lawsuits can come from many different parties, including shareholders, physicians, creditors, employees, patients, etc. Let’s take a closer look at D&O coverage. [More]

Medical Spa Insurance Overview

Medical Spas are unique businesses with unique insurance needs. When I speak with new MedSpa owners about insurance, they are sometimes surprised to hear that a typical spa’s “business owner’s policy” does not adequately cover their operations and the associated risk. [More]

Why shopping for tail coverage matters in today’s malpractice insurance marketplace

So you have to purchase “malpractice tail coverage”
The medical malpractice insurance marketplace continues to evolve as more regulations and government oversights place more pressure on traditional medical practices to evolve, join a larger group practice, or sell out to the local hospital system. Although this issue brings up a number of items to potentially dive into, the one I would like to focus on today is the question I most often receive from my clients: “What about my tail coverage?” With the changing healthcare landscape, insurance companies have begun to develop more “product offerings” to increase their revenue capturing opportunities. Not only are they looking to capture more revenue opportunities, but they are also beginning to think creatively rather than staying within the antiquated mindset that carriers have traditionally shown in the malpractice insurance marketplace. [More]