The Doctor’s Advocate | Fourth Quarter 2012

Michigan Physician Advisory Board Update

by Mitchell A. Rinek, MD

The Michigan Physician Advisory Board has a long history of providing input to the company and reaching out to the members we serve. Our board meets three times each year to discuss claim summaries and related patient safety issues, receive company updates, and provide feedback and strategies to help the company better serve members. Here are a few highlights from our recent meeting:

Claim Review

The meeting began with a review of a case involving an allergy treatment that resulted in acquired quadriplegia secondary to severe anoxic encephalopathy. The advisory board felt the case exemplified problems that can occur through lack of communication and highlighted the importance of discussing a patient’s history prior to treatment. The board also discussed a range of other issues related to the case, including a solo practice physician rotating between several clinics, clinical judgment, lack of supervision, and management of noncompliant patients.

Company Updates

Staff provided an update on the transition and integration of American Physicians Assurance Company policies to The Doctors Company. We reviewed the targeted outreach to members regarding the Tribute® Plan and discussed coverage enhancements as a result of aligning with The Doctors Company. We also reviewed the company’s assessment of Michigan losses and trends and were pleased to learn that Michigan’s experience remains favorable. As a result, the company was able to reduce rates in select specialties.

The board was especially helpful in providing feedback to staff regarding a plan to reach out to primary care practices designated as patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs). The company is piloting a program in Michigan to offer a risk management discount to PCMH-designated practices. Michigan has the highest concentration of PCMH practices in the country. We appreciate The Doctors Company recognizing and rewarding these efforts to improve patient care.

Finally, staff provided an update on a bill package introduced in the Michigan senate to clarify and improve our tort laws as they relate to medical malpractice.

Value of Our Advisory Board

The Michigan Physician Advisory Board appreciates the value The Doctors Company places on our work. The board allows us to stay connected to the company and to provide input on issues affecting Michigan physicians and organized medicine. We are adding three new physicians to the advisory board, bringing our total to 18 members representing all areas of the state and many medical specialties.

Mitchell A. Rinek, MD, is a board certified dermatologist and has been in private practice in East Lansing, Michigan, since 1977. Dr. Rinek has served as a director of the Michigan advisory board since 2001 and currently serves as its chairman. He has held various positions on the board of the Michigan State Medical Society and the Ingham County Medical Society.

The Doctor’s Advocate is published by The Doctors Company to advise and inform its members about loss prevention and insurance issues.

The guidelines suggested in this newsletter are not rules, do not constitute legal advice, and do not ensure a successful outcome. They attempt to define principles of practice for providing appropriate care. The principles are not inclusive of all proper methods of care nor exclusive of other methods reasonably directed at obtaining the same results.

The ultimate decision regarding the appropriateness of any treatment must be made by each healthcare provider in light of all circumstances prevailing in the individual situation and in accordance with the laws of the jurisdiction in which the care is rendered.

The Doctor’s Advocate is published quarterly by Corporate Communications, The Doctors Company. Letters and articles, to be edited and published at the editor’s discretion, are welcome. The views expressed are those of the letter writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or official policy of The Doctors Company. Please sign your letters, and address them to the editor.

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