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Social Inflation

The New Buzzword You Need to Know

The term “social inflation” is making the rounds right now — it refers to the unanticipated rise in insurance claims costs due to societal trends and attitudes involving litigation. As a healthcare professional, it impacts you more than you may realize.

Social inflation is the unanticipated rise in insurance claims costs due to societal trends and attitudes involving litigation; think “deep pockets.” You have probably heard of the verdicts against corporate giants like Johnson & Johnson. An emerging legal trend is something called “litigation funding,” which is similar to venture capital where investors advance money to plaintiffs and law firms for civil actions with the goal of securing large verdicts or settlements. Those investors then get a piece of the settlement.

Why It Matters to You

So, back to you and your healthcare practice. Insurance costs across the board are rising (not just your professional liability insurance costs). You can minimize the impact these costs will have on you by working diligently to prevent claims.

When it comes to your professional liability (malpractice) coverage, there are two primary ways to do this: Loss Control through Risk Management/Patient Safety efforts and working with our claims representatives at the first instinct of a situation which might lead to a claim. 

Risk Management and Patient Safety

Risk Management

  • Reduce the financial burden spent on claims (frequency/severity)
  • Reduce loss productivity
  • Provide the opportunity for money to be better spent on patient care
  • Support quality and patient safety   

Patient Safety

  • Proactively address quality improvements efforts
  • Focus on processes and the design of policies/procedures so everyone is operating from the same set of principles
  • Address scenarios which may compromise a practice

Together, Risk Management and Patient Safety are used to: 

  • Minimize and/or prevent the occurrence of errors, events, and system breakdowns which could lead to harm to patients, staff, and visitors
  • Minimize effects of errors, events, and system breakdowns when they do occur.
  • Minimize losses to the practice by proactively identifying, analyzing, preventing, and controlling potential clinical, business, and operational risks.
  • Facilitate regulatory and legal compliance
  • Effect human and intangible resources (e.g., reputation).

In summary, RM/PS is a collaborative effort to improve safety, quality, & risk leading to safer patient care. Safer systems in turn make patient care safer, which benefits patients, providers, employees, visitors & of course, insurers.

Claims Control

The goal of our claims representatives is to approach every claim at the outset as one we intend to defend through trial, if necessary, in order to prove there was no negligence. 

  • Our claims staff is one of the best. Their focus is solely on professional liability (medical malpractice) claims.
  • Our team will identify one individual to serve as your primary point-of-contact, and who will work closely with you to respond quickly to your needs regarding your claim.
  • The NCMIC approach is different.
    • We don’t open a claim file if you call with a question or situation you’re not sure how to handle.
    • We count an early report from you as an incident and a claim file is not opened.
    • We only open a claim if a suit is filed or a patient makes a demand for payment.
      • This means you receive sound guidance on how to handle your situation, helping you keep your claims-free status and your name off the National Claims and Policies Database.

Learn more about both of these tools and what we can do for you.

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