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American Academy of Ophthalmology Renews Partnership with Ophthalmic Mutual Insurance Company

09/10/2012   11:00:00 AM

25-year Relationship Provides Unique Risk Reduction and Patient Care Resources to Eye Physicians

SAN FRANCISCO — September 10, 2012 — The American Academy of Ophthalmology, today announced the renewal of its long-standing partnership with the Ophthalmic Mutual Insurance Company. The 10-year agreement builds upon 25 years of success working together to manage and reduce medical risks while improving the quality of ophthalmic patient care.  

The Academy and OMIC collaborate in the development of the company's approach to risk management and claims mitigation to effectively serve the specific needs of the ophthalmic profession. OMIC has helped reshape the professional liability environment in the ophthalmic field since its founding in 1987.  

The organizations cited a number of key initiatives they have advanced to enhance quality of care and reduce safety risks in the ophthalmic field. Among them are:

  • Patient safety efforts that have improved the quality of patient care by providing ophthalmologists with guidance about emerging eye care issues and protocols for handling high-risk scenarios;
  • A popular risk management program that has successfully improved the quality of patient care and reduced claims through physician seminars, safety guidelines, informed consent forms and a risk management hotline; and,
  • A claims defense and management process that brings together the best ophthalmic and legal resources to assess and handle claims — resulting in a 25 percent lower paid claims rate and 21 percent lower indemnity payments per claim among OMIC-insured ophthalmologists compared to the insurance industry average.

"The Academy is proud of the progress we've made together with OMIC to advance the practice of ophthalmology and improve patient care," said David W. Parke II, M.D., CEO of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. "We believe OMIC provides an incomparable value for members of the Academy to help them manage risk, which ultimately improves eye care for our patients."  

The Academy formed OMIC in 1987 as the first and only professional liability carrier exclusively for ophthalmologists. The company was created in response to a liability crisis in the 1980s and in recognition of the need for a better approach to ophthalmic risk management. OMIC board members are practicing ophthalmologists who understand both the practice of ophthalmology and the pressures of modern day medicine. Their expertise and active participation in the company's underwriting, claims and risk management process enables OMIC to provide a superior insurance program for ophthalmologists.  

Today, OMIC insures more than 4,400 ophthalmologists across the United States, providing policyholders with the most comprehensive and affordable professional liability coverage for the full scope of ophthalmic practice. As owners of the company, its policyholders also receive a dividend at the end of each fiscal year, if earned. This year, OMIC is paying a 20 percent dividend which will return nearly $8 million to its policyholders. Academy members enjoy exclusive access to OMIC insurance coverage.  

"Over the past 25 years, the Academy and OMIC together have helped thousands of ophthalmologists provide the best possible care to their patients  by reducing risks and controlling costs related to malpractice insurance," said Timothy J. Padovese, president and CEO of OMIC. "In this evolving health care landscape, we look forward to continuing our work with the Academy to support ophthalmologists and meet the challenges of tomorrow."

About the American Academy of Ophthalmology
The American Academy of Ophthalmology is the world's largest association of eye physicians and surgeons — Eye M.D.s — with 32,000 members worldwide. Eye health care is provided by the three "O's" – ophthalmologists, optometrists, and opticians. It is the ophthalmologist, or Eye M.D., who can treat it all: eye diseases, infections and injuries, and perform eye surgery. For more information, visit www.aao.org. The Academy's EyeSmart® program educates the public about the importance of eye health and empowers them to preserve their healthy vision. EyeSmart provides the most trustworthy and medically accurate information about eye diseases, conditions and injuries. OjosSanos™ is the Spanish-language version of the program. Visit www.geteyesmart.org or www.ojossanos.org to learn more.

About the Ophthalmic Mutual Insurance Company
OMIC provides qualified ophthalmologists with a single, comprehensive, affordable professional liability policy for the full scope of ophthalmic practice. Founded in 1987, OMIC's underwriters have a clear understanding of the ever-changing risk exposures and business issues facing ophthalmologists today and will work with physicians and their administrators to tailor an insurance policy for their practice. Coverage is available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia (coverage in Wisconsin is limited to eye banks). Learn more at www.omic.com.

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