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]


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]


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]


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]


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]


Dispelling the Myth: Conrad Murray Cannot Receive Medical Malpractice Insurance


As Conrad Murray, the doctor who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson and recently released from jail, seeks to regain his Texas medical license, questions have been raised about whether he will ever be able to practice medicine in the U.S. [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]