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  • October 18, 2016

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  • Would You Know What to Do in a Ransomware Attack? Sign Up for ISMIE’s Free Oct. 27 Cyber Extortion Webinar

    Locked computerThe FBI expects ransomware – malicious software (malware) that digitally kidnaps patient data in exchange for payment – to become a $1 billion crime this year. Much of that impact, as you’ve probably heard, has affected large health care institutions rich with salable personal and payment information.

    Think your practice is too small to be affected by this dangerous trend? Think again.

    Cyber extortion is an evolving, lucrative form of digital crime that can disrupt any practice and undermine your patient relationships.

    ISMIE Mutual’s latest webinar, Cyber Extortion: Do You Know How to Protect Yourself? will get you up to speed on this expanding threat. The webinar will run from noon to 12:45 on October 27 and will also allow you to ask questions and review the recently expanded ISMIE cyber liability protection you receive at no cost.

    Register today!

  • Have You Registered for the Nov. 10 ISMIE Risk Management Symposium? Hear the Latest in Patient Safety, Health IT and More From Leading National Experts

    As an ISMIE policyholder, you and your team members are invited to attend our first-ever Risk Management Symposium, titled A Physician-First Approach to Patient-Centered Care, November 10 at the Hilton Oak Brook Hills.

    This all-day program brings together 10 national thought leaders to discuss patient safety, health IT, physician burnout, diagnostic error and more. 

    Attendance is open to all health care professionals. ISMIE-insured physicians and clinicians may register at no charge, and a special ISMIE Associates rate is available for your staff. Eligible attendees may also earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.

    Here’s how to register

  • If Your Patients Have Unneeded Medications, Remember: National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is Saturday!

    Cabinet with medicinesLeftover painkillers prescribed to patients or household members have helped drive the nation’s deadly opioid epidemic. Unfortunately, if you’re not a licensed collector, you can’t accept those medications for disposal. 

    However, ISMIE offers ways to help. First, we encourage you to spread the word that this Saturday (October 22) is the 10th National Prescription Take-Back Day sponsored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and local governments.

    Next, we have practice resources you can share with your patients. If you didn’t receive our Prescription Take-Back Kit in the mail, email us or download the following material for printout:

    • A two-sided poster: Side One promotes DEA Take-Back Day on October 22, and Side Two promotes year-round steps for safe disposal;
    • A wallet/purse-sized patient card summarizing those steps; and
    • A copy of ISMS’ latest Issue Brief detailing physician and patient roles in disposal of unused medications.

    Keep these resources at the ready the next time you get a question from a patient.

  • Risk Tips: ‘Our Practice Just Got Flamed Online! What Next?’

    A 2014 JAMA study noted that 65 percent of those surveyed were aware of online physician ratings, and 25 percent reported actual usage of these sites. 

    As consumer rating sites move further into grading health care professionals, with recent court rulings protecting such content, ask yourself: Do you and your staff know how to react if your practice is disparaged online?

    One immediate tip: Don’t flame back. Take a break instead and review ISMIE’s Social Media Guidance for Physicians and Their Practices, specifically its Social Media Scenarios section. For questions, email the ISMIE Risk Management Team or call 800-782-4767. 

    Risk Tips is an occasional ISMIE News feature on practice risk management issues and how ISMIE Mutual can help. If you have a topic you’d like us to cover in Risk Tips, email us.

  • Beware: Dangerous Contacts Can Give Halloween Revelers the Evil Eye

    Eye with a red contact lensAmericans will spend over $8.4 billion on their Halloween shopping this year, most of it going toward finding that perfect costume. 

    But here’s a special warning about what we wear to scare. 

    Encourage your patients to run away, far away, from those colored contact lenses you’ll see in malls, costume stores and online. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) has issued an alert that buying contact lenses from anyone other than a licensed eye care professional or pharmacist is potentially dangerous. 

    The IDFPR echoes warnings from the American Ophthalmology Association that wearers risk corneal scratches and serious, fast-moving infections that may look like pinkeye but left untreated could lead to partial or total blindness. Such lenses are often made in non-FDA approved facilities with tinting materials toxic to the eye.

    Illinois residents are encouraged to notify state officials if they see lenses for sale at retail outlets that do not require a prescription from a licensed eyecare professional. Complaints can be filed at the IDFPR website or by calling their consumer hotline at 888-473-4858. 

  • They're at it Again... That's Not Funny

    Comics have always been brutal to joke-stealers, but courts? Not so much. That could change in an ever-expanding lawsuit filed against "Conan" host Conan O’Brien and 12 other members of his staff by a writer who posts his jokes right on his blog for all to see, accusing the comic team of stealing his material. 

    The plaintiff, Robert "Alex" Kaseberg, filed an amended complaint last month to his original July 2015 federal lawsuit in California, adding one more joke about the Oakland Raiders to a list of four that targeted Tom Brady, airline overcrowding, Caitlyn Jenner (identified as Bruce Jenner in the suit) and the Washington Monument. 

    Apparently, up until now it’s been pretty tough to protect a joke under U.S. copyright law. The reason? While many comics write down their creations as they’re thinking them up, performance of the work isn’t always consistent to the letter or “fixed” in a way that typically guarantees protection.  

    Kaseberg, who claims to have written jokes for former "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno, got a judge’s permission to add the fifth joke, depose more members of O’Brien’s team and produce certain emails related to production of O’Brien’s standup at the beginning of the show.

    So could the blog be mightier than the monologue? Stay tuned.

  • Infographic on Illinois Physician Job Satisfaction