Archive for January, 2012

Motivation – tough to achieve, hard to maintain, critical for success

It’s mid-January, and how many of you have broken your New Year’s Resolution, if you even made one? Do you find the whole idea of a New Year’s resolution to be helpful – or an easily broken promise to ourselves? Does such a pact motivate you?

Most of us need  motivation to change or to stick with a plan, and Americans have an abundance of choices presented to us every day: Eat the doughnut or the oatmeal for breakfast (or just skip it entirely). Go for a walk after dinner or watch TV. Schedule a physical or don’t take the time off from work, school, life. What motivates us and how can employers tap into that? Read more…

Implementation of Federal Sunshine Law delayed for drug and medical suppliers

January 26, 2012 1 comment

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released guidance back in December regarding the implementation of the Federal Sunshine Law and the proposed timing. Since then, the timeline for formal introduction of the law has been revised by CMS, delaying how soon those manufacturers must begin to collect data for their reports. Rather than requiring the collections to begin on January 1st, CMS will not require them to begin until the issuance of the law’s final ruling.

This law will require manufacturers of drugs, biologics, devices and medical supplies covered under Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program to report payments and other transfers of value made to physicians Read more…

A refresher on Mass Workers Comp QLMP premium credits

January 24, 2012 Leave a comment

With the Workers Compensation market tightening up, many risks are being forced to secure coverage through an Assigned Risk Pool. Approximately 15% of all Massachusetts risks are currently assigned to the pool, but this percentage could increase with the anticipation of Chartis and ACE pulling back and showing less of an appetite for this line of coverage.

In Massachusetts, members within the pool are eligible for what is known as a Qualified Loss Management Plan (QLMP), which is a prospective credit for a period of up to four years. Since the assigned pool is becoming more common, we thought a refresher on the QLMP premium credits were in order.

In the early 90s when the pool was heavily populated, QLMP providers were retained frequently to offset premium costs and improve the risk profile. These providers help insured’s put protocol in place to avoid or reduce losses, i.e. safety manuals, develop back-to-work programs, Read more…

Blame game continues with Italian cruise liner disaster

January 20, 2012 Leave a comment

As the true tragedy of the sinking of the cruise liner Costa Concordia begins to take full shape, the finger-pointing has grown from a whisper to a roar. Perhaps the ship was too close to the coast. Why didn’t the navigational system and sonar find the sand bank/rocks that gashed the ship? Aren’t these ships supposed to have compartmentalized hulls so a tear in one area can simply be mitigated by closing off that part of the belly of the ship? Lifeboat training should, of course, happen in the first few hours at sea. And then there are the various acts and failures to act by the captain and the crew.

Risk management theory teaches that most systems have fail-safes and back-ups such that true tragedies only take place when there are multiple failures. It seems that this has been borne out on the Costa Concordia. But it all seems so preventable. Apparently there are few international regulators for safety in this industry. And much of the risk management oversight falls on the insurance industry. Clearly insurers put a lot at risk Read more…

The squeeze on E&O Insurance for technology companies

January 11, 2012 2 comments

Most companies that sell technology-based products or services purchase Errors and Omissions (E&O) Insurance to indemnify them from liability caused by the failure of their products or services. When the vendor’s products or services require access to the clients’ confidential information – and especially personally identifiable information (PII) or protected health information (PHI) – the nature and extent of the vendor’s obligations can get more complicated.

The combination of traditional E&O exposures with rapidly evolving privacy/data security exposures has created new insurance coverage and claims-handling uncertainties. As a result, technology companies that handle, store or transmit their clients’ or customers’ sensitive data are increasingly getting squeezed when they buy E&O insurance policies. Read more…