Posts Tagged ‘medical malpractice’

Subtle change in PA law has big potential for professional liability market

opEd-obamacareA recent bill signed by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf will allow a group of medical professional liability insurers to convert from reciprocal exchanges, to stock companies after final approval by the Pennsylvania Department of Insurance. This change in the law will affect the future landscape of medical malpractice insurance in Pennsylvania.

Introduced as House Bill No. 159 by several Republican members of the Pennsylvania House, the law affects several malpractice carriers that were started shortly after the last significant “medical malpractice crisis” that happened around the turn of the century. Four of the more prominent members of this “class”, Healthcare Providers Insurance Exchange (“HPIX”), Professional Casualty Association (“PCA”), Positive Physicians Insurance Exchange (“PPIE”) and Physicians’ Insurance Program Exchange (‘PIPE”) would all potentially benefit from this new law. The goal of the legislation is to allow these insurers to convert their legal status to a stock company and, as a result, potentially gain access to new capital and expand their operations. However, this all comes with certain requirements and limitations. Read more…

PPACA changes elevate nurse practitioner risk profile

nurse_ppaca_op-edOver the years, the medical professional liability insurance market has seen its fair share of price increases.  For instance,  in December, 2001, St. Paul Insurance announced it would exit the market, leaving over 750 hospitals, 42,000 physicians and more than 70,000 allied professionals without an incumbent market. The ramifications of this event were felt by every medical professional in the country. At the same time however, it offered insurance carriers an opportunity to grow in what was an otherwise untapped and limited marketplace. As a result, healthcare providers began seeing rates rise and fall, depending on risk classification, location and claims history.

Since then, the medical professional liability insurance market has remained somewhat unpredictable. The passage and implementation of PPACA might be another one of those “events” that brings around a less subtle, but no less significant, change in the medical professional liability insurance market. From all that we have seen, PPACA is likely to cause big changes in the way that health insurance is provided, delivered and purchased. And while this raises numerous issues for consumers, carriers and brokers in the employee benefits sector, the impact on the casualty sector of the insurance community may be equally significant. Read more…

Revisiting the basics of medical malpractice

October 2, 2013 Leave a comment

medmalHealth care reform has caused uncertainty and stress across the insurance and healthcare provider industries and has prompted some industry consolidation in both fields. Couple this with the questions that we have seen regarding the laws impact on malpractice coverages, WGA is strongly encouraging providers to be diligent when it comes to searching our most comprehensive and fiscally responsible choices for Medical Malpractice Insurance program.

What is Medical Malpractice Insurance?  Insurance, in general, is the practice of sharing your risk with a large number of individuals or groups who have a similar risk. While it is nearly impossible to predict the future for an individual, the use of statistical data and Read more…

A report on medical malpractice litigation against U.S. physicians

A recent report by the American Medical Association examined the outcomes of medical malpractice claims by physician specialty. The report is unique in that there has previously been little study of the proportion of claims that result in litigation or the outcomes of the litigation process.

The report examined all claims closed between 2002 and 2005 that involved some defense cost (cases without defense costs were excluded as they were often a “medical incident” reported by the physician which never resulted in an allegation of malpractice). A brief summary Read more…

Disclose, apologize and offer: Massachusetts hospitals launch new initiative

The cost of defensive medicine has been widely believed to be among the top contributors towards soaring health care costs. This week, three major hospitals in the Boston area announced a new program called “Disclosure, Apology and Offer.” The program targets defensive medicine which has been defined to include often unnecessary or excessive medical tests and procedures ordered by doctors who are wary of litigious patients.

The program was announced Tuesday by the Massachusetts Medical Society, is intended to promote a less confrontational dynamic between patients and medical professionals when medical mistakes occur and help haste the speed of disputes. Read more…

Health Reform & Medical Malpractice – here we go again?

Much has been said about the impact of health care reform on the medical provider community. Some are predicting the wholesale change of American medicine, for good or for bad. Others take a much more conservative approach to guessing the effects of the ground breaking law. There is, however, some early consensus of how the reforms may drive more physicians to seek employment within hospitals systems. If this trend does in fact take place, there is a belief that it will drive more and more physician malpractice coverage into hospital-owned captives.

The logic behind this concept seems sound. A recent article in Business Insurance magazine noted the drive for hospitals to capture additional revenue from the new outcome-based reimbursement policies contained in the reform law. This drive will force hospitals to add medical staff Read more…

Placebo prescriptions called for Germans

April 1, 2011 1 comment

German medical authorities have been reported by the Associated Press to advise doctors to more frequently prescribe a placebo for the treatment of pain.  Clinical studies have shown that a placebo for back pain and other pain not associated with an otherwise acute event like a broken bone or cancer, can be more effective than pain pills in reducing reported symptoms.  Needless to say it is a bit cheaper, too.

While the medical malpractice system in Germany might allow for such practices, it would be a much more complicated recommendation in the United States.  There is little doubt that plaintiffs’ lawyers for medical malpractice case would find the willful prescription of placebos without the knowledge of the patient, to be a meal ticket for a big settlement.

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