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]


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]


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]


Further discussion on the effects of damage caps on malpractice claims in Florida


In my last blog post, I took a look at how the passage of tort reform in Florida has changed the number of paid claims for physicians in the state. In summary, analyzing the data provided by the National Practitioners Data Bank (NPDB) showed a clear decline in the number of paid claims against physicians in Florida. The information provided by the NPDB is some of the most comprehensive data we have on claims; however, the state of Florida also tracks malpractice claims and it would only be fair to review this data too. In the decision to overturn the cap on death cases, Justice Lewis references data from the annual report on medical malpractice closed claims and rate filings from the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. [More]


What can a medical practice learn from a data breach at Target?


I received two emails today from the Chase Bank fraud department stating that my credit card information may at risk due to Target’s data security breach. Not that I shop at Target all that much, but if I had been there even once between November 27 and December 15 my card information could be at risk. So much for being proactive and not waiting until the last minute to buy a few Christmas gifts. The good news is that there is nothing to show that my data has been compromised and they are sending me new cards; however, that also means that I have to change all of my auto-pay bills that are set up on that specific credit card… which is essentially every recurring bill that I have. [More]


Social Media and Healthcare Best Friends or Worst Enemies


Social media isn’t just a fad. Facebook is a $100 billion company with 1.1 billion users, LinkedIn has over 200 million users throughout 200 countries, Twitter has successfully filed its initial public offering, and Google is one of the most valuable and powerful companies on the planet. The social media revolution has affected every industry, yet it poses unique challenges for the healthcare sector. [More]


Capitation - One Alternative to a “Fee for Service”


One can hardly escape conversations about “change” in healthcare circles today. Changing demographics, changing industries, changing regulations; the list continues. However, one change, the change in provider reimbursement, is pervasive. We hear constant sound bites concerning the “movement away from the 'fee for service' model,” but movement toward what? If we are not reimbursing providers for procedures conducted, how are we measuring healthcare delivery and how is it paid for? [More]


Growing Trend: Direct Employer Contracts with Healthcare Providers in the Self-Insured Industry


While not a new trend, direct employer contracting with providers is rapidly picking up steam, particularly among self-insured companies. The arrangement can provide employers and healthcare providers with myriad benefits, but with these benefits come risks.

Before providers agree to enter into such an arrangement with employers or approach self-insured employers to discuss a partnership (if this allowable under a provider's contract terms with existing health plans), it is important to understand how the arrangement works, why it can work well for both parties and some the risks providers need to be aware of. [More]


Texas expands prescriptive authority rules on Nov 1, 2013. Are you ready?


Advanced practice registered nurses and physician assistants in Texas will find themselves with fewer restrictions placed on their practice, and on how they collaborate with their physician counterparts, when they go to work on November 1, 2013. Earlier this year, Senate Bill 406 was passed by the Texas Legislature. Signed into law by Governor Rick Perry, the new bill will provide better access to care for patients by allowing physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants to work together with greater ease. This will be especially helpful in the vast rural areas of the Lone Star State. [More]


What Are the True Risks of Vicarious Liability?


As medical practices expand in size, an increased number of professionals come into contact with patients. This has many positive results: patients can get multiple opinions and diagnoses, allowing their treatment to be more well-rounded, and doctors can expand their patient network by bringing nurse practitioners and physician assistants on board. However, these additions can also bring added risk to doctors in the form of vicarious liability. [More]


Management Services Organizations (MSOs) - Emerging Trends in Hospital/Physician Affiliations


The landscape of healthcare practice structures continues to evolve and create new incarnations of medical service delivery models. An example of this evolution is the adaptation of physician clinical practices beyond the individual practice setting into the integrated and collaborative world of hospital ownership, large provider group absorption and Accountable Care Organizations etc. This consolidation trend towards a more broader based, top-down organization has resulted in an often frustrating loss of physician independence and control over their clinical practice. Management Services Organizations have gained prominence an organizational structure which solves some of these concerns by allowing physicians to maintain an element of independence while remaining competitive with larger corporate or hospital based provider groups. [More]


Gallagher Healthcare's New Blog


Welcome to the new blog on industry topics from Gallagher Healthcare. Over the years, Gallagher Healthcare has built broad, strong and trusted network insurance carriers and has engineered numerous creative insurance solutions. This gives us a solid knowledge base to inform our clients and website visitors about the intricacies of medical malpractice insurance. Contained in this blog will be a wide range of medical malpractice insurance knowledge and industry news. Feel free to join in on the conversation. [More]