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  • August 7, 2018

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  • Duke/MIT Study Becomes the Latest Indicator that Today’s Medical Liability Environment Adds Patient Cost to Professional Worry

    Physician studying scansAnother academic study says that fear of lawsuits does drive extra medical tests. 

    Such findings come as no surprise to medical professionals or the medical liability community as a whole. 

    Published earlier this month by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), a study by Duke and MIT researchers looked at the health care system for active-duty military patients and found that the possibility of a lawsuit increased the “intensity of health care that patients received in the hospital by about 5 percent,” adding that “those who got the extra care were no better off.” 

    While most defensive medicine research to date has focused on the effects of legal reforms on medical liability lawsuits, this particular study looked at what happened to hospital care when military patients who no longer had access to base hospitals used their benefits in civilian hospitals where suing for medical liability is permitted (The military hospital system restricts medical liability lawsuits against government-employed medical professionals).

    According to the study, when military personnel transitioned their care from a closed base hospital to a civilian hospital, spending on their health care increased, particularly on extra diagnostic tests. The researchers also found that even within military hospitals – where family members of military personnel are allowed to sue – those relatives tended to get more tests than those who would not.

    There are a range of estimates on how much money the practice of defensive medicine wastes in today’s health care system, but at ISMIE, we hope state and federal legislators work to change the unfair system that drives so much uncertainty for dedicated medical professionals.



  • Sept. 27 ISMIE Seminar Focuses on the Future of Maternal Care

    Physician checking on patientWith recent press reports focusing on the United States’ high rate of maternal mortality, ISMIE is hosting a timely seminar September 27 in Rosemont, titled Levels of Maternal Care in the United States: What Does This Mean for You

    The session will run at the Westin O’Hare from 6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m. and cover the levels of maternal care designations, the problem with the current issues with maternal morbidity and mortality, and the key components of successful obstetric critical care program development. 

    The event is free for ISMIE policyholders and staff and will include a light dinner. 

    Register here.

    Here’s a look at the rest of ISMIE’s upcoming risk management events:

    Sept. 14, 2018 | 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. | Seminar | Lisle
    Communications for Staff: The Keys to Building Trust and Improving the Patient Experience

    Oct. 10, 2018 | 9 a.m. – Noon | Seminar | Springfield
    Beyond the Basics: Advanced Communications for Physicians and Other Clinicians

    Oct. 17, 2018 | 9 a.m. – Noon | Seminar | Hoffman Estates
    Informed Consent: Getting on the Same Page with Your Patients

    Nov. 2, 2018 | 8:30 a.m. – 3:45 p.m. | ISMIE Symposium | Oak Brook
    Thriving in Change: ISMIE’s Risk Management Symposium

    Nov. 7, 2018 | 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. | Seminar | Schaumburg
    Communications for Staff: The Keys to Building Trust and Improving the Patient Experience

    Nov. 27, 2018 | 9 a.m. – Noon | Seminar | Naperville
    Beyond the Basics: Advanced Communications for Physicians and Other Clinicians

    Nov. 30, 2018 | 9 a.m. – Noon | Seminar | Rosemont
    Stress Management and Burnout Prevention for Health Care Professionals 



  • ISMIE Updates Illinois Premium Rates for 2018-19

    Each year, ISMIE reviews all specialties, territories and other factors that determine our individual premium levels. During our most recent review, it was determined that a small number of specialties and territories will be updated for the coming year. All changes to ISMIE policyholder premiums will be applied at renewal. 

    In conjunction with the base premiums, ISMIE policyholders have a variety of potential credits that reduce policyholder premiums based on underwriting criteria and risk management program participation.

    Further, ISMIE recently approved another dividend this year. As of July 1, ISMIE began a distribution of $15 million in dividends to all policyholders, raising the total awarded to policyholders to $240.2 million over the life of the program.

    If you utilize a broker, consider contacting him or her for more information, or reach out to ISMIE’s underwriting team at 800-782-4767 or via email.



  • When Patients and Family Members Feel They Can’t Speak Up in the ICU: New BMJ Study Examines a Key Area of Patient Safety Communication

    Physician speaking to a patientThe most intense moments you’ll spend with patients and their families often happen in emergency situations – no place for any obstacles against effective two-way communication. 

    Yet a new study in BMJ Quality & Safety shows that between50-70% of family members of ICU patients “expressed hesitancy to voice concerns about possible mistakes, mismatched care goals, confusing/conflicting information and inadequate hand hygiene.” And half of all respondents reported at least one barrier to voicing concerns, most commonly not wanting to be a “troublemaker,” though “team is too busy” or “I don’t know how” were also mentioned as reasons for hesitancy.

    ISMIE can help. Consider reviewing Patient Communication, part of our risk management resource series, which includes specific guidance on proper patient/family communications that can be helpful during both regular patient visits and high-stress medical situations.

    Also, consider joining us for two important physician and staff communication seminars in the fall – Beyond the Basics: Advanced Communications for Physicians and Other Clinicians and Communications for Staff: The Keys to Building Trust and Improving the Patient Experience.

    Relevant coursework and events are all part of ISMIE’s Managing Risk program, helping to protect you, your practice and your patients. For more information, visit www.ismiemutual.com.



  • They're At It Again...Miley’s Dad’s Hair is Back in the News

    Animals in the courtroom“I see no Constitutional or logical reason to require officers to conduct futile business in the front, when the party is clearly in the back.”

    Is this a quote from country crooner Billy Ray Cyrus or legal justification made by a Georgia Appellate court justice?

    Well, yes.

    Billy Ray may have popularized the mullet hairstyle, cut short in front (the business side) and left to grow long in the rear (the party side).

    But in this case, give Justice Charlie Bethel credit for his attempt to establish the “Mullet Doctrine” as the law of the land.

    The underlying issue involves law enforcement entering a backyard party before offering a courtesy knock at the front door.

    And the outcome to the case? Who cares. We stopped reading when we saw the words “Mullet Doctrine.” 

    If you must know … click here.