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  • May 16, 2017

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  • Global Malware Attacks Make Now a Good Time to Review Your System Safety Procedures

    Upset personLate last week, more than 200,000 organizations – including many hospitals and clinics throughout Britain’s National Health Service – fell victim to a massive global ransomware attack that many experts expect to continue.

    Ransomware is a type of malicious software – or malware – that can block access to your computer system until an electronic ransom is paid. U.S. hospitals have already been major ransomware targets in recent years, and individual clinics and practices aren’t immune.

    How will you know you’ve been hit? Most likely, it will be a sudden pop-up screen that declares someone has taken control of your files and you’ll have to pay to get them back.

    IMPORTANT: Microsoft has issued security patches to secure vulnerabilities in its various Windows operating systems. If you are running an old version of the Windows operating system, your practice might be at particular risk.

    What can you do right now? If you have an information systems chief, confer with him or her on uniform steps for protection. Otherwise, here are some general procedures suggested by IT security experts: 

    • Make sure your operating system software on every computer is fully updated – and if you’ve received a software patch, install it immediately

    • Remind all physicians and staff not to click on ANY unfamiliar links or attachments.

    • Consider backing up your data regularly so a potential attack won’t mean total loss of access to patient and practice data. Be sure to store that backup offline so it does not run the risk of being compromised.

    • Check in with ISMIE. There’s helpful Managing Risk coursework on cyber extortion and data breaches that policyholders can take. Also, take a moment to review your Cyber Liability coverage that comes with every ISMIE policy at no additional cost. And if you’d like a reminder for your team, here’s an earlier ISMIE News infographic (scroll to the end) to pass around.

    Questions? Call ISMIE at 800-782-4767 or email info@ismie.com.

  • For a Safer Practice, Check Out These Upcoming Live Events and Webinar

    doctor on the phoneSummer’s a great time to learn at ISMIE. Make time on your calendar for these upcoming in-person programs and webinars for policyholders and staff through September:

  • ISMIE Offers New Online Course on Office-Based Painkiller Prescribing

    question mark filled with pillsAccording to the latest data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 91 Americans now die every day from an opioid overdose that includes prescription opioids or heroin. 

    To help ISMIE policyholders strengthen their policies on prescribing for noncancer pain management, consider this new online course, Opioid Prescribing in the Office: What You Should Know. Part of ISMIE’s Risk Management education series, this course will help you to:

    • Identify the risks of prescribing opioids for chronic, noncancer pain management;
    • Describe different tools that can be used to mitigate risk, and;
    • Recognize situations in which it would not be advisable to prescribe opioids.

    Clinician policyholders who complete this course may be eligible to earn a 1% premium discount and AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.

    Start here.

  • Renewed Your Medical License Yet? Save Money and Time By Calling The ISMIE Renewal Hotline!

    save time and money on phone screenMake your Illinois medical license renewal process quick and painless this year – call ISMIE’s Renewal Hotline Team at 800-632-7478 between 8:30 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. each business day through the July 31 deadline.

    By going through ISMIE, you’ll save online processing fees charged by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) for your renewal. However, all other regular charges apply. The cost of a three-year medical license renewal is $690, and it’s important to remember that if you have any controlled substances licenses, you must also renew them at this time. A $15 fee is required for each controlled substance license renewal. 

    For physicians who prefer to go it alone, start at the IDFPR website. As we’ve mentioned, IDFPR renewal reminders have gone paperless via email – by now, you should have received yours with an individual PIN to start the renewal process. However, if you missed that reminder, you can still renew by providing your medical license number, Social Security Number and date of birth.

    Please Note:  If you already renewed your medical license, but forgot to renew your controlled substance license(s), call us. We can help. Contact us at licensure@ismie.com or call 800-632-7478. 

  • Thinking About Taking Some Time Off...Or an Entirely New Career Path? Let ISMIE Help You Plan

    Whether you’re considering coverage suspension during an extended leave from practice or a new career model like locum tenens work, call ISMIE. 

    Our custom coverage solutions address many professional options and we can help you talk through specific plans – contact your broker partner or the ISMIE Underwriting Team at 800-782-4767 or email underwriting@ismie.com.

  • Our Neighbor to the West Enacts New Medical Liability Limit into Law

    state of iowa with a building in the centerOn May 5, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad signed medical liability reform legislation that will cap noneconomic damages for emotional pain and suffering at $250,000 except in cases of permanent impairment, disfigurement or death. 

    The law, which goes into effect July 1, also creates a certificate of merit requirement, and strengthens the Hawkeye State's expert witness standards. 

    Here’s the background.

  • Renewing Soon? Look for that White ISMIE Envelope!

    Most ISMIE policyholders renew their coverage July 1, so be on the lookout for the large white envelope with the words, "Important Documents from ISMIE Mutual for You to Read and Keep" on the front. 

    All policyholders receive this material 30 to 60 days prior to their renewal date.

    By the way, did you know you can switch to paperless renewal? Start by logging in to ISMIE.com and click at the upper right on “MyISMIE.” At left, click on “Policyholder Info” and then scroll down to the “Document Preferences” section. Once you’re there, choose the paperless option for all your policy documents. 

    If you have questions, contact your broker partner or the ISMIE Underwriting Team at 800-782-4767 or email underwriting@ismie.com.

  • They're at it Again...A Unicorn in Every Cup

    Sounds tasty, doesn’t it?

    Nope, we’re not talking about a distressingly blended version of the mythical horse, but the shockingly pink and short-lived Unicorn Frappuccino beverage from coffee giant Starbucks, which continues to attract plaintiff’s attorneys like flies to horses.

    A New York café owner is suing Starbucks in federal court for $10 million, alleging that the coffee giant’s sweet and sparkly beverage – notably finished with “whipped cream-sprinkled pink and blue fairy powders” – was based on their frothy creation.  

    The owners of The End Brooklyn – a coffee shop based in the hipster capital of Williamsburg – allege that they unveiled their blue-green algae-infused “Unicorn Latte” last December and filed a trademark application for the name in January, only to find themselves trampled by the dubiously received Starbucks product during its two-week run in April.

    “The size of and scope of Starbucks’ product launch was designed so that the Unicorn Frappuccino would eclipse the Unicorn Latte in the market, thereby harming [The End] and confusing their customers,” the suit says.

    We’re confused too – since unicorns don’t exist, should this lawsuit?