Dynamic Duos: Risk Managers and MPL Claims Managers

We all know of famous dynamic duos¦Batman and Robin, Holmes and Watson, Bert and Ernie¦We have one to add: Risk Managers and MPL Claims Managers. It seems only fitting that we highlight this collaboration between risk managers and claims managers during ASHRM's Risk Management Week (June 15-19, 2020).

About UMass Memorial Health Care

  • 3 Hospitals on 4 campuses
  • 70 office-based community practices
  • 1,125 beds
  • 2,000 physicians and registered nurses
  • More than 13,000 total employees

PARTNERSHIP RESULTS IN POSITIVE CHANGES

We have worked with UMass Memorial Health Care, Inc. for more than two decades to help code and analyze its medical professional liability (MPL) data. We were intrigued by something Timothy Slowick, MBA, Director of Claims Management, shared with us: UMass had seen a reduction in medical malpractice claims over a period of time. For everyone who works in insurance, this is the goal. And while we have seen trends in our data towards reduction across the industry, we wanted to learn more about the specific work UMass was doing; and we did! We were so impressed by the work and the results at UMass Memorial that we coauthored, with members of their team, a study which published in the Journal of Healthcare Risk Management. More information about the article can be found here.

WHAT'S SO SPECIAL ABOUT THIS DYNAMIC DUO?

UMass Memorial Health Care in Worcester, Massachusetts, saw an opportunity to unify its MPL claims management and risk management departments to work towards the common goal of improving patient care. Timothy Slowick worked with Janell Forget, RN, BSN, JD, Senior Director of Risk Management to make this happen. Today, their teams collaborate to analyze a variety of data including adverse events, root cause analyses (RCA), serious reportable events (SRE) and medical professional liability (MPL) claims data. These data are used to identify risks, understand the issues, or to justify investments in strategies to mitigate risks.

Tim and Janell told us the underlying critical elements of a successful claims and risk management program are:

  1. The ability to access MPL claims data to compare your data on a wide scale to get a true measure of where you stand.
  2. Development and maintenance of trusting relationships between your Risk Managers and your clinical staff.
  3. Ongoing, rapid cycle review of data to help tailor efforts specifically.

This strategy has proven successful. UMass has seen positive changes in ED ultrasound coverage, obstetrics communication, and airway management training. (You can learn more about these results in the full-text article.)

UMass Memorial continues to be data-informed as it learns and evolves so that it can improve patient care and reduce its medical malpractice claims. Here at CRICO Strategies, we appreciate your willingness to share your experience so that other organizations can learn from you.

If you are unable to access the original article, you may be interested in a recording of the webinar about the paper. 

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