February 5, 2014

The Top Five Biggest Risks Physicians Will Face In 2014


As we exit 2013 and enter 2014, I thought I would conduct an exercise to see what lies ahead for physicians and medical practices/clinics. I Googled the following phrases to see if I would find any consistencies: Top 10 risks facing physician practices Challenges physicians face in 2014 Biggest concerns for the healthcare industry After reviewing a number of articles I settled on a top 5 “Biggest Risks of 2014” list which was, for the most part, consistent across the board. Reimbursement Levels – Every business faces revenue challenges. Medical economic challenges seem to be growing daily. Regulation – ICD 10, … Continue reading

September 4, 2013

3 Must Have Insurance Policies for Today’s Healthcare Provider


We are in the midst of a changing healthcare delivery system.  Just as how care is delivered ischanging the risks facing physicians, hospitals, etc… are changing.   Any business opening in healthcare today, but consider having Cyber Liability, Employment Practices Liability, and Life Insurance.  The following are examples that outline how the risk could be insured.  While this doesn’t solve the problem, it clearly helps with managing the financial impact of the risk. Cyber Liability (often call Data Breach | Network Security) – According to the Associated Press, four computers were stolen at Advocate Medical Group (Chicago Hospital).  It was noted … Continue reading

August 14, 2013

What to Expect as a Physician in a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit


Recently a physician asked “I have never been sued, but what is it like?”  I have witnessed the legal process from Notice of Intent through Jury Trial and at first blush should be an easy question to answer… but it is not.  First, I have never been sued for medical malpractice as I am not a physician.  Secondly, I have witnessed a variety of reactions and believe it is different for everyone.  The following will outline some points for consideration as we attempt to answer “What is it like to be sued?” in common speak. Incident – Often the process … Continue reading

July 31, 2013

What to Ask When Choosing a Medical Malpractice Insurance Co. in MI


The practice of healthcare is continuously changing and evolving.  It wasn’t so long ago that physicians and hospitals would only ask questions about Tail Coverage, Claim Statistics and Financial Strength.  Clearly these are all critical questions to ask, but the complexity of Medical Professional Liability (Medical Malpractice) insurance policies are changing to meet the needs of today’s Physicians + Hospitals.  To dig a little deeper into your program, ask the following questions about your policy: Does my Medical Professional Liability (malpractice) policy provide coverage for Medicare or Medicaid billing audits?  If so, how much coverage is provided and what does … Continue reading

July 12, 2013

Emerging Risk for the Healthcare Industry – Employment Related Practices Liability


e typically define an emerging risk in one of two ways: A new risk that did not previously exist A change occurs causing a either an increase in frequency or an increase in severity Employment Practices Liability is again an emerging risk for the healthcare industry.  The second half of 2012 and the first of 2013 have yielded an increase in these types of lawsuits by employees against an employer.  There are a variety of reasons why these types of lawsuits are on the rise, but coupled together create a significant increase in frequency for employers in healthcare: Poor economy … Continue reading

June 5, 2013

Social Media – what are my employees actually doing?


Facebook, Twitter, Blogging, MySpace, Google+, Pintrest, etc… what’s next?  There will always be a next, but in the interim maybe a better question is how will these platforms evolve.  Maybe one last question… have they already evolved?  My opinion is yes they have evolved as the user, but we may not yet recognize it as employers. Words Hurt – Pictures tell a thousand words – Video can crumble all you have worked to build. First and as a disclaimer; Social Media, Websites, App’s can be phenomenal tools and are very special technologies.   These are in no way the culprit or … Continue reading

May 29, 2013

What makes a good compliance officer and compliance program?


Will you be hunted or the hunter?  The choice many will face is, “will I look for our problems (they will exist – no organization is compliant all the time) and find solutions or will I bury my head in the sand and wait for an auditor to knock my door?”  Compliance is a critical component of any organization in healthcare. A quick Google search of “healthcare compliance officer returned 1.75billion results.”  Unfortunately I don’t have the time to read each result today, but let’s just say there is more than enough information on the importance of compliance, how to … Continue reading

May 15, 2013

What does the HIPAA/HITECH Mega Rule mean to you?


Earlier this year, the HHS released the HIPAA/HITECH “Mega Rule”. While most of the country was in the middle of preparing for Health Care Reform, taxes, etc… this may have snuck up on you and your team.   What does this mean for you? Review of Data Breach Response Plan or Unauthorized Disclosure (presumed breach vs. significant financial/reputational risk) Changes to Business Associate Agreements Fundraising + Marketing Communications Notice of Privacy Practices Potential Penalties Encryption of Mobile Equipment I have often heard an argument that small hospitals and smaller/solo physician groups should not be concerned because rules like this are only … Continue reading

May 1, 2013

Impacts of Health Care Reform on Medical Malpractice for Healthcare


It appears safe to say that healthcare reform is here to stay.  The breadth of what HCR does for our country is far reaching and in some way will touch every citizen.  Visit our HCR pages to learn more about how HCR will impact you or your business or sign up for VAST’s Health Care Reform Navigation System™.  Today’s focus will be how Healthcare Reform impacts physicians, hospitals and allied health professional’s Medical Professional Liability (Medical Malpractice) policies. Medical Malpractice impacts our country’s healthcare spending, but is a drop in the bucket when compared to the total dollars spent.  For example: According … Continue reading

April 10, 2013

Three Insurance Tips From a Retiring Physician


Last Friday, I received a call from a physician letting me know that he had decided he was going to officially retire.   We worked through a few business items like “how to apply for his free tail” and what was next for him.  The conversation gravitated toward the challenges that physicians face coming out of school today as his son is currently in medical school.  I asked: What advice do you wish you had when you began your practice (specific to insurance)?  He said three specific things that jumped out to him: Buy as much life and disability insurance as … Continue reading

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