PIAA Medical Liability Conference Notes at Lunch Break

The PIAA Medical Liability Conference is breaking for lunch, so I’m taking the opportunity to share my notes on the first-half of the first official day of seminars. Following is a synopsis of those I attended.

Welcome and Opening Remarks

• PIAA president and chief executive Brian Atchinson introduced members to the organization’s new branding initiative. No longer will the organization go by the name Physician Insurers Association of America, opting instead to by the acronym PIAA. The name choice was designed to retain the brand recognition built over the years, but also shows the fact that member companies have expanded their product offerings to include hospitals, healthcare systems, nurse practitioners, midwives, etc. The announcement also marked the end of a press embargo on the rebranding effort. I’ve quoted from the PIAA’s press release on the matter below:

The Physician Insurers Association of America (PIAA) today announced significant developments in its organizational brand. The changes support and build on the Association’s leadership role in the medical professional liability (MPL) community. They also reflect the impact that the changing landscape in the delivery of healthcare has had on MPL. Key initiatives include:

* As of today, the organization will begin doing business as simply “PIAA.” The spelled-out version, “Physician Insurers Association of America,” will be retained in legacy documents only.

* To accompany the new name, PIAA is introducing a new tagline: “Our expertise is medical liability. Our passion is quality healthcare.”

• The organization is unveiling a new logo that reflects its expanding role in the MPL arena.

• A redesigned website, www.piaa.us, is being launched.

“Speaking on behalf of the PIAA Board, I am excited about the new brand, and where it will take the Association in the ensuing months and years,” said Ted J. Clarke, MD, chair of PIAA and chairman and CEO of COPIC Companies. “PIAA is at the leading edge of the shift underway in the medical liability field, ensuring that we continue to provide the best leadership and value to our members. I am confident that these actions will keep us on target for meeting the needs of the MPL community.”

PIAA President and CEO Brian K. Atchinson added, “PIAA was once identified as an association of physicians insuring physicians—a perception that clearly set us apart and an important aspect of our heritage. Today, in addition to insuring more than two-thirds of America’s private practicing physicians, PIAA members insure more than 3,000 hospitals, as well as other healthcare providers. Our new brand reflects who we have become over the years—and it represents our mission to promote, protect, educate, and connect the diverse kinds of MPL entities that all support the quality delivery of healthcare and practice of medicine.”

As of May 16, 2013, the Association will begin doing business as “PIAA.” “We learned through research and feedback that replacing ‘Physician Insurers Association of America’ with ‘PIAA’ allows us to retain our current strong brand equity, while also enabling us to encompass, and more publicly acknowledge, our global reach. Today, we have international members doing business in more than 40 countries around the world,” said Atchinson.

“Using the letters ‘PIAA’ as our brand name enables us to refer to the important physician component— exemplified by the ‘P’ in ‘PIAA’—which will always be a bedrock element of our organizational history, while also letting us take on a broader role in the evolving healthcare industry,” he continued.

• Keynote Session – “Healthcare Reform: Change Is the Only Constant” – Leonard D. Schaefer, founding chairman and past chief executive officer, Wellpoint

* The good news of healthcare reform is 30 million new patients gain access to the healthcare delivery system; the bad news is that it requires increased spending.

* Take home message: Changes to the healthcare system are going to be systematically implemented over the next 10 years. Expect an endless series of changes to the Affordable Care Act legislation as associated parties lobby for changes to the law to benefit their interests.

* The healthcare reforms are less about healthcare and more about affecting accumulated debt and national security. Why national security? The United States’ lenders have increasing influence over U.S. interests as debt is accumulated.

• “Communicating with Patients After a Medical Injury: Myths, Realities and New Horizons” – Mark Leonard O’Brien, MB, BS, International Medical Education Consultant to Australia’s Medical Protection Society shared the following insights

* Australia was the first country to adopt a disclosure policy and it is now considered integral to Australian’s trust with their healthcare provider.

* The Medical Protection Society has trained more than 11,000 healthcare providers in eight countries between 2010 and 2012. This includes all Singaporean government hospitals.

* When crafting a response to an adverse outcome, it is necessary to consider 1. The psychological requirements of all involved parties 2. the system’s safety and quality agenda 3. fair compensation of medical injury 4. the legal and regulatory requirements.

* Since instituting Clinical Incident Management, the total number of reported claims have decreased by 50%

* Clinical Incident Management must be a part of high-quality healthcare, not just a risk management exercise.

Check back later for more updates from today’s PIAA Medical Liability Conference.