Ben Beeson with Lockton’s Global Technology and Privacy Practice recently spoke with Leader’s Edge magazine about the increasing challenges of data privacy in healthcare.
A recent ruling by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services established very stringent security and privacy policies, including the requirement to notify individuals of a breach of their personal healthcare information.
Beeson discusses what this means to covered entities, their business associates, and the boardroom.
Read the full story in Leader’s Edge.
Insurance buying for healthcare providers in the U.K. generally remains a stable environment as a result of abundant capacity and an extended soft market.
There are signs, however, that carriers writing property, casualty, and medical professional liability are becoming increasingly aware of the need to write business profitably. This mirrors market conditions in the U.S. While capacity is plentiful, there will be competition. However, insurers are starting to show signs of becoming more aggressive when pricing risks with poor claims frequency.
Demonstrating a proactive approach to loss control is becoming increasingly important when negotiating rates with carriers.
There are a number of underlying factors that are affecting the U.K. healthcare sector. The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) report into private hospital operators issued its provisional findings in December 2011 and is high on the agenda in the board rooms of private hospital groups.
Read the full report here.
Despite the difficult conditions of the earlier years of this century, the U.S. medical professional liability (MPL) marketplace continues to favor buyers. Plentiful capacity is driving underwriters to compete for “good” accounts and to retain profitable business wherever possible.
Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A)
During the past 12 to 18 months, many hospitals and health systems, as well as private equity groups, have increased acquisition activities of both physicians and other hospitals. Others have begun to employ greater numbers of physicians.
If M&A activity, especially physician acquisition, continues at its current pace, the result will be the same number of insurers pursuing fewer, albeit larger, clients. A recent survey by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions concluded that many physicians consider private practice a decreasingly viable option. The most successful physician-owned insurers built their companies in the 1970s and 1980s by writing individual and small group practice policies. These markets must now cope with the anticipated exodus of their “bread and butter” insureds to health system insurance programs.
Some specialty insurers are capitalizing on M&A activity by offering stand-alone tail policies at a lower cost than those offered by the carrier the physician or hospital is leaving. It will remain to be seen whether these policies will be profitable for the carriers selling them.
Read the full report here, next -
Medical Professional Liability Market Outlook
On October 20, 2011, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its “Final Rule Provisions for Accountable Care Organizations” under the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP).
The MSSP promotes the formation and operation of accountable care organizations(ACOs) to serve Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries.
According to CMS, this program is intended to encourage providers of services and suppliers (e.g., physicians, hospitals, and others involved in patient care) to join together and create a new type of healthcare entity, an ACO. The ACO must agree to be held accountable for improving the health and experience of care for individuals and improving the health of populations, while reducing the rate of growth in healthcare spending.
Each Accountable Care Organization will be unique in its structure, governance, relationships and delivery model, all topics essential in evaluating risk-financing needs.
Learn more from my article printed in Physician Insurer Magazine
“Reprinted from the First Quarter 2012 issue of Physician Insurer Magazine, Physician Insurers Association of America. Copyright 2012.
The medical professional market continues to enjoy the stability of an extended soft market. Ten years ago, in 2001, the industywide combined ratio was 154 percent and numerous carriers, including Phico, St. Paul, Farmers, Employers Re, and the Virginia Reciprocal exited the market. The industry made immediate pricing corrections, new players entered the field, and the combined ratio as well as the rates have fallen year over year.
Despite this trend, there is still a sense that the tides are turning. Carriers are increasingly aware of the need to write business profitably, even though competition is fueled by the still plentiful capacity. Continued uncertainty exists regarding healthcare reform and how it will effect the carriers’ products and pricing, particularly now, as the final regulations for accountable care organizations have been released. Read more of this article »