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The Sentinel: March 2017


Summary Judgment Saves the Day

Closed Claim Review  |  Tim Rector, JD, MBA

Mary is a 60-year-old female who brought suit against a cardiologist alleging he failed to timely diagnose and treat her retroperitoneal hemorrhage following a cardiac catheterization.  Unfortunately, for Mary, this alleged failure to diagnose and treat her resulted in a cascade of multiple medical/surgi...

For 2017: $7 Million Dividend, No Rate Increases

Company News

The Board of Directors of SVMIC is pleased to announce a $7 million dividend for policyholders again this year. This amounts to approximately 5.5% of annual premiums. SVMIC has now issued dividends in 33 of its 41 years in business. Further, the Board has decided to keep premium rates unchanged for 2017. SVMI...

Just Say Yes to MIPS Participation in 2017

Practice Management  |  Elizabeth Woodcock, MBA, FACMPE, CPC

January 1, 2017, marked the commencement of the Quality Payment Program (QPP). The government’s initiative is mandated for physicians and other eligible clinicians who provide care for Medicare patients. By 2019, non-participation fines will be up to 4% of Medicare payments, so it is important to enroll...

Changes to Medicare "Incident To" Billing Requirements

Practice Management  |  Jackie Boswell, FACMPE

Medicare allows a physician to bill for certain services furnished by an Advanced Practice Practitioner (APP) under what is referred to as "incident to" billing.  The "incident to" rule permits services furnished as an integral part of the physician's professional services in the course of diagnosis or t...

Handling Difficult Situations

Practice Management  |  Elizabeth Woodcock, MBA, FACMPE, CPC

When you work in a medical practice, you face challenging situations every day. Particularly as patients wrestle with pain, frustration and fear, you might find yourself handling a difficult circumstance from a customer service perspective. Practices that understand the importance of effectively managing thes...

Practices in Multiple States Fall Victim to Ransomware Attacks


Current headlines contain many stories of cyber-attacks, including data breaches and ransom malware, more commonly known as ransomware.  Once your practice is hit by a cyber-attack, you’ll want to be able to quickly diminish the damages inflicted on your practice and your patients. Such damages inc...

Risk Pearls: March 2017

Risk Matters  |  Julie Loomis, RN, JD

One of the simplest tools for improving your communication with patients is intentional or "active" listening. When a new mother brings her baby to the office, listening to her description of the problem often provides that subtle clue a physical examination may not have revealed. Not all medical interactions...

An Analysis of Hospitalist Closed Claims

Specialty Spotlight  |  Carolyn Akland, MBA, RN, CPHQ, LNCC

A review of SVMIC hospitalist closed claims from 2008 – 2015, where a loss was paid on behalf of an insured, reveals three basic areas that contributed to the indefensibility of the claims.   These issues are illustrated in the graph below: COMMUNICATION ISSUES:   Effective c...

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