The early years of practice are exciting but they can also be overwhelming.
It is a fact of life that you will be sued at least once during your career for alleged medical malpractice. In fact, the average U.S. ophthalmologist may assume they will be involved in litigation for professional liability two to three times. You may also be forced to defend fraudulent billing allegations, patient HIPAA privacy violations or cyber breaches.
As young ophthalmologists navigate a fast-moving and changing health care landscape, the Ophthalmic Mutual Insurance Co. (OMIC) is available to help.
What is OMIC?
Owned and operated by practicing ophthalmologists, OMIC is the largest insurer of ophthalmologists and operates in all 50 states. More than 30 years ago, the Academy recognized the need for OMIC when multispecialty carriers subsidized higher risk specialties by charging more than was necessary to ophthalmologists.
In 1987, the Academy helped create one of the only specialty-specific insurance companies in America. Since then, OMIC has become the largest insurer of ophthalmologists in the U.S. and a leading risk management resource for ophthalmology. It is still the only Academy-sponsored and endorsed insurance carrier.
Your OMIC policy can be taken with you wherever you practice. If you move to a new state or territory, you’re covered without the cost or headache of applying for new coverage.
OMIC has the largest source of ophthalmic claims data and loss prevention materials, and its confidential hotline is the most-used ophthalmic consulting service of its kind. OMIC.com is the most visited website in the U.S. for ophthalmic risk management advice and patient consent documents.
Besides the Academy, OMIC is also endorsed by 54 other ophthalmic societies. Partnerships with ophthalmic state and subspecialty societies qualify the groups’ members for an exclusive 10% premium credit when completing OMIC risk management courses.
Documents for Risk Management
OMIC offers strategies for minimizing your risk in malpractice claims:
- Ophthalmologists should have procedure-specific patient education and informed consent documents at your fingertips. You can find hundreds of consent form templates on OMIC’s website. Download and personalize hundreds of patient consent documents.
During litigation, ophthalmologists will be forced to defend their procedures and protocols. In some high-exposure activities, such as screening and/or treating retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), the existence of such protocols could win or lose a case for the defendant.
- Download risk-management recommendations (RMRs) for many different patient and practice situations.
- Follow OMIC on social media and visit the OMIC website regularly for updates that can affect your practice. OMIC monitors product alerts and develops strategies for handling patient inquiries and potential harm caused by drug and device recalls.
Your insurance premium is directly related to a carrier’s claims experience. OMIC has a higher win rate at trial, full consent to settle (no hammer) clause and access to the best experts. OMIC pays 25% less per claim than other carriers. As a result, OMIC’s base rates have consistently averaged lower than multispecialty carriers in the U.S.
OMIC returns any premium above what is needed to prudently operate to its members through dividends. Don’t underestimate this benefit; it can add up to tens, even hundreds, of thousands of dollars over the course of your career. OMIC has one of the most generous dividend programs for ophthalmologists and has declared $90 million to our members through dividends.
A-rated by AM Best, OMIC has been ranked No. 1 among malpractice insurance companies in America for financial stability. OMIC’s consistent financial performance with regard to both combined and operating ratios, the two most relevant financial measurements for an insurance carrier, consistently beats traditional multispecialty companies.
* * *
About the author:
Daniel J. Briceland, MD, is the chair of OMIC’s Board of Directors.