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  • October 29, 2019

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  • How Can Using Artificial Intelligence Affect Your Liability?

    AIUse of artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms in medicine is expanding at a dizzying rate. The allure of these tools is strong, but before using them to support clinical decision-making – or even drive care improvement efforts – physicians and institutions must understand their liability in the event something goes wrong. Unfortunately, the law moves much slower than the pace of technological innovation, leaving many open questions about how the courts will view decisions made with input from AI.

    A new analysis published in JAMA offers some clues, and is a must-read for anyone considering the addition of AI to their clinical decision-making toolbox. The authors point out that tort law is inherently conservative, and following existing standards of care is typically the safest bet. But legal standards of care may shift over time, and eventually AI itself could even become part of the standard of care, making it all the more important for physicians to stay informed on these critical issues.

    ISMIE is committed to helping our policyholders stay ahead of the curve! Check out our new on-demand course on AI, as the latest addition to our extensive library of risk management resources. For more information, contact our risk management team by email or by phone at 800-782-4767 ext. 3300.



  • California’s MICRA Protections Are Under Attack From “Hybrid” Lawsuits

    MICRACalifornia health professionals know the strong medical liability protections offered through the state's long-standing $250,000 cap on non-economic damages. These damage caps level out insurance markets by stabilizing payment severity and reducing claims frequency.  However, a "hybrid" lawsuit strategy is gaining in popularity as a means to skirt the state's damage limit and churn out multi-million dollar awards.

    In one notable medical liability case, a jury awarded $9.25 million in non-economic damages. The court refused to apply limits set under California's Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) because the plaintiff’s attorney successfully argued a "hybrid" accusation. The hybrid tactic alleges both professional negligence and medical battery. Medical battery falls outside of California’s non-economic damages cap.

    The case noted above is now under appeal. If not overturned, it could be the beginning of the end for MICRA protections that have been in place for more than 40 years.



  • ISMIE Symposium Speaker Spotlight: Michael Hanak, MD

    hanak Physicians have been hearing a lot about social determinants of health – but what can they do about them? Rush University Medical Center's Michael Hanak, MD, will lead a session at the 2019 ISMIE Risk Management Symposium designed to help clinicians identify social determinants of health and explain why they matter. 

    ISMIE policyholders attend for free. Discounts are available for your staff.

    Learn more and register!



  • Help ALL Kids Enjoy Halloween – Spread the Word About The Teal Pumpkin Project!

    tealKids with life-threatening food allergies often have to take a pass on trick-or-treating, which means missing time with their friends. Here’s a fun way to encourage patients and community members to consider offering non-food treats on Halloween so all neighborhood kids can join in. The Teal Pumpkin Project, launched nationally in 2014 by Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), is a way for individuals to signal to neighbors that they're offering alternatives to Halloween candy, such as stickers or small toys. FARE makes downloadable social media materials, promotional flyers and window posters available for anyone to use, including physicians.

    According to FARE, teal is the official color of food allergy awareness. The organization estimates that about 15 million Americans have food allergies, equal to one out of every 13 children.



  • Copyright Claims Are Spinning in Battle of Bike Makers

    They're At It AgainIn case you aren’t familiar, Peloton is the latest fitness fad taking America by storm. Their core product is basically a fancy WiFi-enabled stationary bike with a built-in video screen. This allows its users to experience the encouragement and intensity of a group spin class without having to leave home. 

    Many home fitness aficionados are along for the ride. According to a recently filed IPO prospectus, Peloton raked in almost $1 billion last year. Inevitably, competitors are now seeking to put their own "spin" on this innovative and successful idea.   

    So how do you ward off new competition with a relatively simple product? Copyright infringement lawsuits of course! 

    Recently, Peloton filed a lawsuit claiming rival Echelon Fitness was attempting to get a free ride off of their innovations such as a red, white and black color scheme. Flywheel Sports faces similar Peloton complaints. 

    And in a twist, Peloton faces its own copyright accusations. Anyone who has taken a spin class knows part of the experience involves a high-decibel soundtrack.  Several music publishers want Peloton to pony up for providing the beats that keep people pedaling.

    Exercising copyright rights can be costly, and will certainly keep lawyers spinning the paper for years to come!