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St. Louis Metropolitan Medical Society
The Greater St. Louis Medical Group Management Association
is pleased to launch a partnership with the
St. Louis Metropolitan Medical Society (SLMMS).
This partnership will feature the sharing of information
in publications and on our websites.
Thanks to Monte Shields for sharing the following article.
Prepare for Changes in the Medical Malpractice Insurance Market
Higher costs and fewer discounts began in late 2019 as carriers have experience larger claims expense
By Monte Shields
Physicians and practice administrators need to prepare for the inevitable increase in medical malpractice insurance premiums at the next renewal. Many practices have already experienced the increases, and there are more on the way. The medical malpractice insurance market is changing, and premiums are going up.
Physicians, hospitals, facilities, and other healthcare provider groups have enjoyed a little over a decade of steadily decreasing malpractice insurance premiums. The medical malpractice insurance market is cyclical, and mid-way through 2018 it reached the bottom of the “soft market,” making 2019 the beginning of a new cycle. This new “hard market” may not be as severe as in past decades, but the signs that it is coming are prominent: Increasing frequency of severe claims, rising rates due to higher loss ratios, fewer discounts available, tighter underwriting guidelines, and smaller less stable insurance carriers collapsing or being acquired.
Practical steps to help prepare your practice:
What is pushing the change?
The main reason for the change in the medical malpractice insurance market is the increase in the number of large payouts and the severity of those payouts. Additionally, there has been a shift from an abundance of independent solo or small physician groups to larger groups and hospital employment. In order to attract new clients and gain market share in this more competitive environment malpractice insurance carriers have been consistently reducing rates. While they’ve remained profitable for many years, the profits have been minimal for the last 3 years, and many carriers are beginning to see reserves eroding. If combined loss ratios continue above 100 percent, an adjustment will be necessary to keep the carriers solvent. As we’ve mentioned above, this has already started taking place as of late 2019.
The cyclical nature of the medical malpractice insurance market means that there will always be ups and downs, or “soft” and “hard” market trends. Insurance professionals agree that the recent soft market cycle lasted longer than expected, and longer than has been typical historically and physicians, groups, and hospitals have all benefited from lower rates and less risk for over a decade now. But as with any cyclical business market, things are never static but always changing.
Physicians and administrators need to be ready for these changes as they plan for this year’s medical malpractice insurance renewal.
Monte Shields is the manager of agency
marketing at The Keane Insurance Group, Inc.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following articles also appeared in the
St. Louis Metropolitan Medical Society's newsletter:
Prepare for Changes in the Medical Malpractice Insurance Market by Monte Shields, Keane Insurance Group, Inc.
The Budding Friendship of HIPAA and Virtual Assistants by Kevin K. Peek and Killian R. Walsh
Prevention Is the Best Medicine: Taking A Proactive Approach to Your Medical Practice’s Cybersecurity by Ryan Haislar, Computerease
Help Wanted on the Dark Web by Derrick Weisbrod, Healthcare Technology Advisors
Take Two and (Video) Call Me in the Morning by Kevin K. Peek, Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard P.C.
Leaders - Born or Made? by Julie Guethler, Transform Healthcare Strategies
Health Care Innovation in St. Louis by Melony Tanko, Kypher and Michael Tan, Kypher Intern
Navigating MIPS in 2018 by Derrick Weisbrod, Greater St. Louis MGMA Director at Large
Surviving the Stress: Malpractice Risk Reduction by Diane Robben, Greater St. Louis MGMA VP Business Partners
View from the Inside by Kathleen McCarry, Greater St. Louis MGMA VP Advocacy
Filling the Gap: How Physicians and Aspiring Medical Students Learn from Each Other by Julie Guethler, Greater St. Louis MGMA Past President
What the "Soft Market" Means for Physicians by Monte Shields, The Keane Insurance Group
A Tale of Two Practices by Julie Guethler, MGMA of Greater St. Louis President
Physicians Beware of Referrals for Home Care and Potential Fraud Charges by Diane Robben, JD, MGMA of Greater St. Louis VP Business Partners and Denise Bloch, JD
MGMA of Greater St. Louis: Committed to Developing Strong Practice Managers by John Marshall, MGMA of Greater St. Louis Director at Large
Finding Good Employees by Chris Keefe, CPA, CMPE, MGMA of Greater St. Louis President-Elect
Workplace Wellness: Start Small to Improve the Health of Your Employees by Chris Keefe, MGMA of Greater St. Louis President-Elect
Carrots and Sticks in Coding: Why Good Documentation Matters by Kathleen McCarry, MGMA of Greater St. Louis VP Advocacy
Introduction to MGMA: Can Your Practice Afford to be "Left in the Cold?" by Jim Kidd, MGMA of Greater St. Louis President