The PRMS Blog

PRMS Helps Future Psychiatrists Understand Risks Down the Road


Psychiatry is one of the most rewarding fields in medicine, but psychiatrists face a myriad of liability risks, especially relating to issues such as telepsychiatry, suicidal patients, medication issues, use of social media, electronic health records and more. Unfortunately, risk management strategies related to these topics are not often formally addressed during residency training.

While the potential for liability is one of the more stressful aspects of today’s psychiatric practice, psychiatrists in training can learn ways to improve patient safety and steer clear of malpractice claims by attending the PRMS Residents’ Education Program (PREP®), a program which offers a critical overview of risk management practices.

PRMS offers PREP® free of charge to groups of residents and fellows. Just what makes the program so unique? As a leader in proactive risk management, PRMS has extensive experience handling claims against psychiatrists and fielding calls on the risk management helpline. That unique body of knowledge can go a long way to help our insured clients lessen the risk of having an adverse patient outcome or being sued.

During the past 30 years, PRMS has managed more lawsuits, claims and potential claims against psychiatrists than any other professional liability insurance program in the United States. According to the most recent data from PRMS claims on lawsuits closed in 2015, incorrect treatment was the most identifiable cause of loss for psychiatrists (35% of cases), followed by medication issues (19%) and suicide/attempted suicide (15%).

Donna Vanderpool, MBA, JD, states, “The PREP® program was developed to meet needs expressed by residency training directors. PRMS has provided the well-received PREP® courses to residency and fellowship programs across the country for 15 years, and our staff is often asked back yearly by training directors and attendees. PREP® program content supports ACGME core competencies relating specifically to system-based practice and interpersonal and communication skills.”

PRMS recognizes that the job of psychiatrists and these emerging practitioners could not be more important. Most Americans say untreated mental health has a significant impact on the United States economy, according to a poll released by the American Psychiatric Association in May. The poll also found that nearly one in five respondents has personally sought care from a mental health professional, and three in 10 know a family member who has sought care.

To provide insight into the intersection of psychiatry and the law, PREP® faculty include three seasoned PRMS risk managers: Donna Vanderpool, MBA, JD, Vice President of Risk Management; David Cash, JD, LLM, Assistant Vice President of Risk Management; and Ann McNary, JD, Senior Risk Manager.

PREP® is designed to run about 90 minutes, but its format is flexible and can be modified to suit various timeframes and audience sizes. It can be presented as a stand-alone seminar or Grand Rounds.

Interested in incorporating PREP® courses in your residency training programs? To learn more or to schedule your free PREP® session, call Donna Vanderpool, MBA, JD at (703) 907-3895 or email PREP@prms.com.

Posted in PRMS Blog | Comments Off on PRMS Helps Future Psychiatrists Understand Risks Down the Road



Refer a Colleague: Doubling Donations Through July


We are constantly humbled by the number of psychiatrists that refer and recommend PRMS to their colleagues. In fact, our number one source of new business comes from referrals.  As a token of our appreciation, we developed our “Refer a Colleague” program to give back and support mental health. For every referral received, we provide a donation to state psychiatric associations, NAMI or national specialty psychiatric associations.

We recently expanded our referral program to include an online portal to make referring a colleague even easier. After creating an account and identifying the organization you would like our donation to go to, you can then share your personalized link with your colleagues. Your link will direct your colleague to an information request form to learn more about PRMS. No purchase is necessary.

In further appreciation for the referrals made through the online portal, all donations provided by PRMS will be doubled through July 31, 2016.

Visit PsychProgram.com/Refer to create and share your personalized link and start earning donations for the organization of your choice.

Your privacy is our priority. Information provided by you and your referral will not be shared or sold with third-parties.

Posted in PRMS Blog | Comments Off on Refer a Colleague: Doubling Donations Through July



The PRMS Enhanced Policy Protects You From Emerging Risks


Policy Enhancement_Header

Does your medical professional liability insurance policy provide coverage for all risks associated with your practice?

The practice of psychiatry is constantly evolving, causing an increase in liability risks.  Recent state mandates for physicians to use electronic health records or electronic prescribing, and the more frequent use of telemedicine as a method of treatment, are some examples of the emerging issues. Additionally, state licensing board complaints are escalating; HIPAA investigations are in the headlines regularly and a privacy breach notification means additional business expense for the practice.  As the Chief Underwriting Officer at PRMS, I analyze the probability of claims and collaborate with the risk management and claims staff to assure the professional liability insurance policy provides comprehensive coverage and appropriate limits to protect the psychiatrists’ professional reputation and career.

In April of 2016, PRMS enhanced the policy to include additional coverages and increased limits at no additional cost.  Our data show that psychiatrists are more likely to face a licensing board administrative proceeding than a malpractice lawsuit.  According to Jean Bates, PRMS Senior Vice President of Claims, the claims range from “failure to report an address change” and “insensitivity to a patient’s needs” to allegations of “fraudulent billing” and “inappropriate prescribing of pain killers.”  Licensing boards have a significant impact on the psychiatrist’s professional reputation and career.  If you receive a license complaint, contact your insurance carrier to find out if you have administrative defense coverage.   PRMS is committed to protecting your professional reputation and career, thus we increased the limit for license defense to $150,000, which we believe is the highest limit available in the market at no additional cost.

Additionally, studies show that violence by patients against psychiatrists is more common than against other physicians.  Our new assault coverage limit of $30,000 pays for expenses related to treating your emotional distress, bodily injury and damage to property.

Other additional coverages provided at no further cost include:

  • A separate HIPAA defense limit of $50,000 that will pay fines and penalties (where allowed by law)
  • A separate Medicare/Medicaid defense limit of $25,000
  • Data Breach Expenses coverage of $30,000 to cover the related costs, such as hiring a public relations firm, notifying patients and patient credit monitoring
  • Practice Interruption coverage with a limit of $2,500 for an unexpected closure of your practice
  • $150,000 liability limit for fire damage
  • $100,000 limit for medical payments due to a patient’s bodily injury caused on your premises

 

The enhanced policy is admitted and approved by the insurance regulators in 33 states and the District of Columbia and pending approval in all others.  Follow us on LinkedIn to find out if the PRMS policy has been approved in your state!

I encourage you to review your current insurance program to ensure that it fully protects you and your practice, and that professionals who understand the emerging risks of psychiatric practice manage the program.  While I hope that our clients are never in need of these coverages, they can take comfort in knowing that PRMS will be there for them and their practices.

For more information regarding PRMS and the enhanced policy please visit, PsychProgram.com/EnhancedPolicy or call us at (800) 245-3333.

Click here for a full list of features and benefits of The Psychiatrists’ Program.

Posted in PRMS Blog | Comments Off on The PRMS Enhanced Policy Protects You From Emerging Risks



Recognizing Mental Health Month and the Importance of Mental Health Foundations


As Mental Health Month draws to a close, it is important to collectively reflect on the significance of mental health. At PRMS, we think it is also the perfect time to highlight the mental health foundations PRMS contributes to and the important work they are doing to promote mental health.

But first, a little more about Mental Health Month. Since 1949, Mental Health America (MHA) and its affiliates have led the charge in observance of Mental Health Month.  MHA has worked tirelessly to raise awareness among millions of people through various outlets, and continuously seeks new organizations to help spread knowledge of the importance of mental health.

This year’s theme is “Life with a Mental Illness.” The MHA is asking individuals to share what life with a mental illness feels like in words, pictures and video by tagging their social media posts on sites like Twitter and Instagram with #mentalillnessfeelslike, or by submitting an anonymous post with images and/or text to the MHAPosts, which will be displayed at mentalhealthamerica.net/feelslike.

Here is a look at some of the foundations PRMS has helped and the work they are doing:

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). PRMS has been a supporter of NAMIWalks and the dedicated cadre of mental health providers who take part. In May, we supported two New York City region teams, by making a donation to each. They included “The Bronxters,” from the Bronx District Branch of the APA and “GLIPS,” from the Greater Long Island Psychiatric Society. Combined, they raised more than $6,700 for NAMI, which provides free support, education and advocacy programs for individuals with mental illness and their families.

Kentucky Psychiatric Medical Association Foundation. In 2016, PRMS continued its ongoing support with another donation. The group recently expanded its “When Not to Keep a Secret Essay Contest,” which is designed to show Kentucky high school students that it is okay and sometimes even necessary to tell someone when they overhear dangerous or destructive talk about the results of depression and teen suicide. The Foundation also provides outreach and training grants and helped produce a DVD to recognize a potentially impaired physician.

Minnesota Mental Health Community Foundation – Minnesota Psychiatric Society. PRMS also continued its ongoing support of this group with a donation planned in 2016. While the Foundation is just a few years old, projects include scholarship funds for students pursuing mental health careers, an oral history project documenting the evolution of psychiatry in the state, a television series on depression, and a web-based tool to help find mental health providers.

Ohio Psychiatric Physicians Foundation (OPPF) – Ohio Psychiatric Physicians Association. In 2016, PRMS again continued its support of this group with a donation. The Foundation’s “Consider Psychiatry” campaign is designed to recruit more medical students to the field. The Foundation is partnering with Ohio medical schools and psychiatry departments to mentor and financially support medical students during electives so they can gain exposure to psychiatry. It also provides annual awards to the media who educate the public about mental illnesses and to Ohio medical students, psychiatry residents, and members for research and publishing.

You can help support these or other groups. Through PRMS’ Refer a Colleague program, if you refer a psychiatrist or behavioral healthcare group practice to PRMS, we will make a donation to your designated state psychiatric association, NAMI or national specialty psychiatric association.  For more information, visit: PsychProgram.com/Refer.

 

Posted in PRMS "Gives a Hoot!", PRMS Blog | Comments Off on Recognizing Mental Health Month and the Importance of Mental Health Foundations



“Bronxters” Back At It: Raising Money in NAMIWalksNYC 2016 and “GLIPS” Starting a Tradition with NAMIWalks Long Island/Queens 2016


Overcast skies and chilly temperature didn’t dampen the spirits of dedicated mental health providers who took part in a recent National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Walk in New York City and Long Island. They came together to help raise funds to support mental health and to work to stamp out the stigma people affected by mental illness face.

PRMS supported teams from the Bronx and Greater Long Island Psychiatric Society (GLIPS) District Branches of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) known as “The Bronxters” and “GLIPS.” The two teams raised more than $6,700 combined for NAMI, which provides free support, education and advocacy programs for individuals with mental illness and their families.

The NAMI Long Island/Queens walk celebrated its 12th anniversary this year. Over 850 participants joined in the walk on May 7 and raised over $200,000. Dr. Vadim Izgur, a psychiatrist at South Oaks Hospital and Dr. Julie Cyriac, a psychiatrist at New York City Children’s Center co-captained the GLIPS team. Members from the GLIPS District Branch of the APA and staff from South Oaks Hospital were also members of the team.

Vadim Izgur of the Greater Long Island Psychiatric Society

Vadim Izgur of the Greater Long Island Psychiatric Society District Branch of the APA

The Bronxters team was co-captained by Dr. Maryann Popiel, a psychiatrist at Jacobi Medical Center, and Sonal Harneja, a second year resident at Montefiore Medical Center. Joining them were a committed group of psychiatry residents, faculty and staff from Montefiore Medical Center, Jacobi Medical Center Behavioral Services, North Central Bronx Hospital, the Bronx District Branch of the APA and a representative from PRMS.

The Bronxters of the Bronx District Branch of the APA

The Bronxters of the Bronx District Branch of the APA

Now in its 10th year, the 5K walk drew more than 5,000 New Yorkers and raised more than a half million dollars for NAMI-NYC Metro. According to NAMI, more than $530,000 brought in will fund a half-year of NAMI-NYC services for New Yorkers who need its services most.

The NYC walk started at the South Street Seaport Promenade, then went over the Brooklyn Bridge and back to the Seaport, where event-goers took part in New York City’s second #IWILLLISTEN Day. A concert and wellness fair with free massage, basic health screenings, and prizes were all featured.

Every year, tens of thousands of concerned citizens in more than 84 communities across the nation join NAMI on these walks. The idea behind NAMI’s #IWILLLISTEN campaign is this: 1 in 4 Americans are impacted by mental illness. By taking the #IWILLLISTEN pledge, you can add your voice to others by making a promise to listen and do something if someone you know needs help.

“We applaud ‘The Bronxters’ and ‘GLIPS’ passion and willingness to stand up to be counted in support of mental health advocacy,” said Stephen Sills, PRMS Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “We are delighted to support both the Bronx and GLIPS District Branches of the APA, as well as NAMI-NYC and NAMI-LIQ in their efforts to promote awareness and hopefully banish the stigma associated with mental illness.”

Lindsay Lease, a PRMS Marketing/Communications Specialist in New York, NY, represented PRMS at the NYC event for the first time.

Posted in Events, PRMS "Gives a Hoot!", PRMS Blog | Comments Off on “Bronxters” Back At It: Raising Money in NAMIWalksNYC 2016 and “GLIPS” Starting a Tradition with NAMIWalks Long Island/Queens 2016



About the Author