Jul 22

Does Your Nonprofit Need Directors and Officers Insurance?

Volunteer OrganizationNonprofit organizations are a mainstay of our society. Medical professionals of all kinds run charitable work – but may not realize that even volunteer work requires insurance coverage. Nonprofit board members specifically are not aware that they may be held personally liable for the actions of the organization.

The duties of directors and officers are performance related, and can protect against employment practice issues. Some types of claims can include;

Donors – Donor claims are claims resulting from those who make donations to the organization.

Government Organizations – Law violations claims

Third Parties – These can include various lawsuits such as intellectual property and copyright issues.

Employees & Volunteers – Discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, etc.

Members – Claims made to protect the interests of the members.

Beneficiaries/clients – Recipients of the organization’s services may file claims against the organization.

Directors and Officers Insurance acts as a layer of protection, offering volunteer board members security and peace of mind in all their nonprofit ventures.

Nonprofit Directors and Officers Liability Insurance program offers flexible policies to meet the needs of various organization types and liability coverage. Coverage options include:

1.    Directors & Officers Liability

2.    Employment Practices Liability with Third Party coverage

3.    Fiduciary Liability

CPH & Associates recommends that companies find coverage through NotforProfitins.com. Coverage through NPI is backed by Philadelphia Insurance Companies, an A++ (superior) rated company by A.M. Best. Nonprofit Directors and Officers Insurance is available for, but not limited to, Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation Center Insurance, Area Health Education Center Insurance, and Charitable Organization Insurance. Other organizations include: Counseling Centers, Daycares, English as a Second Language Programs, Food Banks, Fundraising Foundations, Goodwill Industries, Homeless Shelters, Mental Health Associations, Respite Care Centers, Tutoring Centers, Job Training, Women’s Shelters, and Youth Associations.

Learn more about liability coverage for directors and officers – NotforProfitins.com – or call CPH toll-free at 800-875-1911.

 

Jul 17

5 Ways to Make Your August Travel Plans Stress-free

stress free travelVacation: the ultimate stress reliever can also bite back and create a stressful time. It’s almost August, the weekend you’ve been planning is almost here… and we’re ready to give you a taste of that small break, stolen staycation, or (gasp) long vacation you have planned.

 

After all, we’re all tired of planning this time of the year in advance. These 5 tips will help you (and your practice) survive without you. Let the countdown begin!

 

5. Groom your temp replacement. We can’t stress this enough – if your #2 doesn’t know how to at least simulate your activities, you will be worried during the whole adventure. Depending o your chosen one’s learning curve, try to do this at least one month in advance.

 

4. Mistakes happen. Be prepared for the fires, and make sure that the office has a plan of action in case they do. You can even simulate a few drills if it helps you sleep…

 

3. Block it out. Plan what your accessibility will be like on your vacation. This helps manage expectations of clients and employees.

 

2. Name supervisors. These people will report back to you when you return. Make sure you name 2 – so that nothing goes unnoticed. These will be your double agents while you are away.

 

1. No mobiles! Ok – for some we know this is unrealistic, but the least you can do is block off your schedule and set certain times (aka expectations) for the people back home who inevitably will be calling you, be it new business, old advice, or practice emergency.

#1 is a very important aspect of your vacation. Fewer and fewer Americans are taking vacations nowadays, leading to burnout, stress and poor productivity. More vacations = more money for the company, since productivity will increase, mental activity will improve, and appreciation for the practice will grow. Time off = time earned, both in the future as well as the past. So enjoy August! Summer is not over yet.

Jul 15

$4.8 Million HIPAA Security Settlement Is the Largest HIPAA Payout Yet

hipaa violations

© Softpedia.com

The HIPAA malpractice settlements of 2014 are the largest we’ve seen in the industry thus far. No doubt some of these violations resemble to the comical “slipping on a banana peel” – but every example comes with a valuable lesson about HIPAA: the cost for violating the Accountability Act is ever on the rise.

Settlements in just the first two quarters of 2014 topped out the charts on HIPAA-related lawsuits. Let’s take a look at the top violations of 2014.
#2:  Medical Records Dumping Fail

Cost: $800,000

Violation: Privacy Rule

Parkview Health System helped a retiring physician make the hard-earned transition from life as a leader to a life of leisure. Parkview took custody of ~5,000 patient records while they considered purchasing the physician’s practice. In the strenuous moving process, employees left 71 cardboard boxes unattended in the driveway of the physician’s home.

As a result of this painful and almost slapstick slip-up, Parkview came under investigation by the OCR, was assigned $800,000 in resolutions and a full policy, procedure, training and implementation report requirement.

Read more about the medical transportation case at HHS.gov

In cases of blunder or real errors, malpractice insurance keeps businesses afloat. Read more for coverage information for Non Profit Medical Professionals like Parkview.

#1: Enemy Number One – Data Security & ePHI violations

Cost: $4,800,000

Violations: Security Rule, Privacy Rule

New York and Presbyterian Hospital (NYP) and Columbia University (CU) confessed to the threat of a security breach in September of 2010. Nearly 7,000 individuals were exposed in ePHI (electronic Protected Health Information) security failures. The case of joint partnership between the ivy league university and the local hospital resulted in a shared data network and shared firewall that created a major breach when a personally-owned computer server became accessible over search engines.  

That is to say, individual’s data became accessible on the internet. Publicly.

 

The fact is, security cases like this are becoming more and more prevalent. Take matters into your own (practice’s) hands by discovering the failures in your security system before your patient’s information becomes exposed.

For more information on the NYP & CU case, click here.

Discover the coverage options for practices and individuals worried about malpractice risks

The increasing risks and costs of violating HIPAA are not anomalous to these cases – the expense comes with a strong endorsement from the HHS.

“HHS also put the industry on notice that any entity self-reporting a security breach should not expect much leniency.” – Law360.com,

Things you need to know:

ePHI – electronic Portable Health Information. Any time you put patient’s information on a computer or mobile device, you need to abide by ePHI security standards.

Risk analysis - HIPAA is starting to require companies to test their networks for attacks. Stay compliant by staying prepared.

Keep up to date with Privacy and Security protections – Stay informed. Utilize training materials for HIPAA compliance. Always stay safe, and stay covered. HIPAA is ever-changing, and it’s tough to stay secure in this modern, digital world.

Jul 10

Massaging Your Liability Insurance

massage therapist malpractice coverageMassage Therapists have an incredibly hands-on job, with many risks! No matter your level of professionalism, the intimate contact with patients and even threats of the safety of the practices or spas you may be working out of as an MT.

According to the American Massage Therapy Association, “There are often unsubstantiated claims of abuse by clients against their massage therapist.” This is just one of the many ways in which MTs must protect themselves.

Document, document! One of the best ways to protect yourself and your clients is to use good documentation. Every client you treat should sign an informed consent agreement. In this document, you’ll define the expectations and services your therapy session will include. The client can effectively pick and choose the services s/he is comfortable with, and provide consent for the services you will be performing. This is a great security measure, but it is a way to supplement, not substitute for your massage therapy malpractice liability plan.

Is your informed consent agreement up to par? Review the following items to make sure that your consent form is protecting you.

  • Description of your method of massage, techniques and modality

  • The procedure – including the process of disrobing and draping

  • Your credentials and areas of expertise

  • Possible outcomes of the massage therapy session

  • **Should not imply any guaranteed outcome

  • Benefits, limitations and contraindications of each session

  • Scope of practice

  • Client confidentiality and privacy statement

  • Session duration and fees

  • Policies for cancellations and late arrival

  • Insurance reimbursement capabilities, if any

  • Availability and hours of operation

  • Collaboration policy with other health professionals

Putting together good documentation is the ideal way to supplement your professional liability policy. Good malpractice insurance coverage for massage therapists is the only way to ensure that your practice, career and future are not compromised by patients, be it false claims or actual human error. Stay safe, MTs!

Jul 08

Massage Therapists Need a Massage

Massage Therapist Stress FReeIf you work in any field other than MT, you have probably had a massage at least once to help you cope with the difficulties of stressful life, work, family, society, etc. Is massage therapy an occupation without stress? Yahoo Finance may have called it a “low stress, high paying” career, but we challenge you to think again.

Massage therapists deal with some obstacles that may sound bizarre to you, but require a different kind of patience. Is it a stressful job? It’s no cakewalk – there are a few ways in which MT’s themselves could use the rub-down they so kindly spend so much time offering others.

The demands: The physical taxation of being an MT cannot be ignored. You’re on your feet for much of the day, and carpal tunnel syndrome can be a serious threat.

The boss: Are you self-employed? And is that a perk? Imagine the roles you have to play to maintain your business. That means business development, cleaning, followups, taxes, bookkeeping, insurance maintenance for your massage practice. “Being your own boss” is by no means an easy gig.

The smells: Let’s say your patient has a migraine – they want aromatherapy with their massage. Requesting the calming scent of peppermint, which sticks around for several hours and leaves your eyes and hands stinging.

The sounds: While calming music every single day must get boring – at least you get to pick your own. However 8+ hours a day of relaxing sounds could really get maddening. MTs, what do you think?

The feels: How many strangers do you have to touch at the office? Not all can be pleasant. Professionalism is a quality you should admire in your massage therapist! However, not every style of massage requires heavy touching. For example, Reiki, acupuncture, and hot stone massage may not require as much full-on touching.

How about the perks?

Making your own hours, seeing your friends or children when you want to… those are a few freedoms that make your lifestyle truly yours. However, it’s our belief that MT’s truly deserve a massage. Massage therapy is a scientifically backed, government recognized form of pain, stress and therapeutic relief – and there’s no doubt the life of an MT has some serious stresses, standing up for most of the day being one of them!

Massage therapy has been shown to affect:

  • Pain
  • Cancer
  • Mental Health
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headaches
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Infant care

There’s no doubt we can all use a good session with our kind, patient MT. Show them some love! They get to know your stressors and watch out for your personal injuries every time you come in for a session. Every MT needs a massage!

As a member of the bravely self-employed medical professionals, we’re proud to offer malpractice insurance coverage for Massage Therapists. For more information, visit CPHins.com.

Jul 03

American Car Culture: Celebrating 128 Years of Auto History

Car BirthdayThis day in 1886 represents a life-changer in the American way of life: the birth of the Internal Combustion Automobile. The Benz Patent Motorwagen, by Karl Benz, was the first car – and since then, the American has come to spend 101 minutes a day driving. That ends up being approximately 7% of every person’s life – over 5 years spent in a car!

The fact is, driving a car is a part of our culture – our birthright. Nothing gives confidence like that set of keys handed to someone on their 16th (give or take depending on your state) birthday. Opening that car with it’s unique smell, revving the engine for the first time… cars have become as much a part of our lives as cats, dogs and horses were (until the car replaced them).

In the past nearly 150 years, we’ve seen cars go from unfiltered ICE’s with manual transmissions and live rear axles to electric racers with paddle shifters, adaptive suspensions, and tiny econo-mobiles for the spend-thrifty everyman. In America, our dependence on the car is unparalleled – and our love for the auto has grown and shrunk with the times. A stick shift is now a special option – for old lovers of the 20th Century automobile and the sporty feel of the gasoline engine.

 Those are some fun facts and a basic overview, but nothing sums up the automobile better than videos of high revving overtures to the modern car.

 

That’s a live car race – but car culture would not be complete without the over budget, physics challenging great car chase scenes from movies.

 

And what do cars and car chases do for our brains? Increasing adrenaline levels – even releasing cortisol for those who don’t like cars, are a few of the mental responses. Manual cars may be going extinct (sadly) but have you ever heard the expression that a person who can drive a stick shift is a better all around driver? This is because it teaches spatial understanding, and a better understanding of how the car handles and exactly how the engine performs.

So happy birthday, automobile. We look forward to the next 4+ years we will spend driving you… Unless there is a suitable flying option that will take you over. Who knows what psychological connections that last 100+ years of automobile culture have imprinted upon our brains, genes, and society.

Jul 01

Goodbye Tupperware, Hello Plastic Scare

tupperware-partyThe trend of plastic-phobia is reaching global craze. By now, it’s not just the nutritionists who are familiar with Bisphenol A, or BPA. Unless you’re a whistle-blower in hiding or social media hater, you’ve likely seen one or two packages labeled with the dubious sticker “BPA Free”. We ask that our medically-savvy audience be patient with us as we define this trend and insert some statistical information into the battle for/against plastics.

What is BPA?

BPA is a chemical product that helps harden polycarbonate plastics, lacquer in cans and water supply pipes, dental sealants, and epoxy. It can be found in most of the items we use today:

  1. Water bottles
  2. Infant bottles
  3. CDs
  4. Safety equipment
  5. Medical devices
  6. Food cans
  7. Bottle tops
  8. Receipts
  9. Water supply pipes

It’s clear that most of the things we are exposed to on a daily (hourly…minutely?) basis have BPA. As of the 1970s, we’ve been heavily using plastics out of sheer convenience.

Why are we so worried about it now?

BPA mimics estrogen, and as a result can act as an additional hormone in the human body. According to the National Institutes of Health, BPA had strange effects on lab rats in various levels of exposure. There have been no clear links in the current toxicology research for long term health results, but the possible (still unverified) human health effects could include:

  • Neurological effects, behavioral effects, and prostate gland effects in exposed fetuses, infants and children.
  • Early development and puberty in females resulting from childhood exposure, reproductive toxicity in workers.
  • Potential malformations in newborns

BPA is incredibly widespread. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) discovered levels of BPA in 93% of the 2517 people tested. This study was conducted among people over 6 years of age – however, it is worrisome as it most likely suggests fetuses and newborns are being exposed to BPA. However, according to the National Toxicology Program, this largely depends on the level of exposure.

Understanding the hype

Long-term studies have led to inconclusive results – but there is enough worldwide concern that the EU has banned BPA from products for infants. Taking that into account, you may have seen extreme worry over plastics versus tap water, reusing plastic water bottles, using plastic water bottles at all.

  1. Plastic water bottle manufacturers are under scrutiny because when the plastic heats up, as it does commonly when left in the car, it is more likely to leech BPA into the water than when stored at a cool temperature.
  2. The same goes for plastic storage containers. If you microwave them, or wash them in the hot cycle in the dishwasher, the heat forces them to release more BPA as they break down.
  3. “BPA free” does not mean BPA free. While some BPA is eliminated from the plastic hardening process, ultimately BPA is released as part of the breakdown of plastic. You can still be exposed even if the label says it does not have BPA.

Staying safe, without going crazy

It’s scary to think that the commonplace plastics we’ve so relied on for their convenience and practicality could have been harming us the whole time. Keep them away from infants, but don’t let it affect you too deeply as of yet. The research is ongoing, and what is labeled as BPA free may not truly be BPA free.

You can employ some caution by paying attention to what you eat. This article from How Stuff Works rates food brands for their successful safety against BPA. Take a look and learn how to avoid unnecessary toxins you may be ingesting.

Jun 27

PTSD: A Primal Disorder for the Modern World

PTSD Awareness DayWith so many war veterans returning from World hotspots such as Iraq and Afghanistan, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is a term thrown around commonly, and loosely. Observing PTSD Awareness Day on June 27th, 2014, we decided to explore the condition further, and delve into the reasons, history and causes.

What is PTSD? Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is classified as an Anxiety Disorder by the DSM IV Psychology Manual. It can affect anyone, but is more common in adults than children. PTSD can manifest itself as a result of a traumatic event in which the individual experiences fear, powerlessness and stress. Although many individuals cannot recollect the actual traumatic event, and experience partial or complete amnesia, they are tormented by flashbacks, nightmares and vivid visions of the event.

Symptoms can occur months or even years after the event. Individuals suffering from PTSD can become withdrawn and depressed as a result of constantly having to relive a traumatic event. It is often found, especially in victims of war-related PTSD, that the desire to ignore, or emotionally shut out the traumatic experience or events/places related to it can lead to worsening symptoms. PTSD sufferers often turn to substance abuse to cope with the experiences, which also leads worsening symptoms.

It has been speculated that PTSD originates from our more primitive brain functions, such as our innate mammal instincts when it comes to dealing with and experiencing stressful situations. Just as we have evolved to retain memory of dangerous situations such as fire or predators in order to avoid repeating them, scientists theorize PTSD be the over-reaction of a human brain to a stressful situation in a function to remind the individual not to repeat it.

PTSD even affects patients in the medical field – those who experience Anesthesia Awareness file malpractice suits, offering symptoms of PTSD as harm done as a result of the failed anesthesia.

PTSD is tough to diagnose, and even harder to treat because most of the sufferers refuse to admit the problem, or seek counseling to resolve it. Many sufferers, especially men, consider it emasculating to admit to a psychological disorder, and consider it a sign of weakness to ask for help.

Treating PTSD relies heavily on the “more honey, less vinegar” approach. Most psychologists know that PTSD skyrocketed in Vietnam era – most likely as a result of the negative treatment and rejection publicly displayed to soldiers returning from the horrors of war. Studies have also shown that individuals who experienced childhood violence are more likely to develop PTSD as a result of traumatic events as adults than those who grew up with peaceful and loving families. As adults, love, acceptance and nurture of those who suffer from the condition is an effective, non-chemical way to battle the symptoms of PTSD. Attention from a therapist or psychologist can be extremely beneficial for those suffering from PTSD, but with the more friendly modern approach, successful long-term treatments are far more common.

It is fair to say that no one wishes to experience the most traumatic event of their life over and over again. If you know someone who may be suffering from this terrible disorder, observe PTSD Awareness Day! Reach out, give them a hand and pull them back in from the nightmare. Your gesture will go a long way towards recovery.

Jun 24

All Hail The Optician! The Future of Cataracts and Eye Care

Optician, Cataract AwarenessThis post is for the optician in your group or practice. According to Prevent Blindness America, over 24 MILLION (that’s 24,000,000) Americans have cataracts.

What is a cataract?

Proteins begin to cloud your vision – grouping in the lens. They block light as it passes through to the retina. Slowly, vision clouds and light sensitivity becomes very strong.

Affecting most mammals and humans, cataracts are the top cause of blindness for older adults – in fact, over half of people over the age of 60.

There are no medical treatments to relieve cataracts – surgery is the only option. This requires removing the lens and replacing it with an intraocular lens.

The future of eye disease:

Eye disease related expenses, both public and private, are anticipated to reach over $700 billion by 2050. This predicts the shifts between public and private healthcare, and offers many suggestions for the future of the eye care field.

According to NORC at the University of Chicago – we can expect:

  • Eye disease-related expenses (including government, insurance and patient costs), are projected to increase 376 percent by 2050
  • Hispanics are projected to exhibit extremely high growth in diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and cataract cases.
  • As the baby-boomer generation ages into the Medicare program, costs will further shift from patients and private insurance to government.  By 2050, government will pay more than 41 percent of costs, while the burden paid by patients and private insurers will drop to 44 percent and 16 percent, respectively. 
  • Women will continue to outnumber men in prevalence of all eye disease and vision loss categories except for diabetic retinopathy.
  • Those aged 90 and older are projected to be by far the fastest growing population segment, with their population more than tripling due to both the aging baby-boomers and increasing longevity.  This will have a significant effect on those living with eye disease, as many of these conditions are age-related.
  • The estimated average age of AMD patients is 80 years old, the oldest of any of the included eye diseases. Diabetic retinopathy patients have an average age of 66 years, the youngest of any of the included eye diseases.

Eye diseases and affectations are the purview of the optician in your group. If you, or anyone you know has long term clouding of vision, they should visit an eye doctor to determine their eye health. For any additional information on optician malpractice coverage, or professional liability for opticians, visit CPHINS.com

Jun 17

What’s On Your Bucket List? A Mini Summer Travel Guide from CPH

summer getawayIt’s not easy to set up a getaway – but on the rare chance you do, be ready to go! Here are 20 suggestions from CPH on how to spend your next week off. We tried to keep them within the states, but many an adventure and experience can be found in the list below!

  1. Drive from San Francisco down to San Diego – visit every beach on the way down.
  2. Visit New Orleans and try some local boudin and crawfish, if they’re in season!
  3. Plan a staycation – somewhere close by but under the radar
  4. Go to Washington, DC for the 4th of July and picnic on the mall all day. Enjoy the nation’s best fireworks show – it’s worth it.
  5. Blow up a map of your state. Paste it on the wall and throw a dart – drive to wherever it lands! Texas natives get a bye from this exercise.
  6. Try a new flavor at a Portland beer festival – then grab a bite at a local food truck afterward.
  7. Seattle. Buy a bouquet at Pike’s Place and contribute to the gum wall.
  8. Rent a 4-wheeler and go off-road in the nearest desert.
  9. Visit a friend who lives out of town – preferably one you haven’t visited – and have them show you around.
  10. Go see a concert at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado.
  11. Enjoy a margarita or try a michelada on the beaches of Mexico.
  12. Visit the local sites – you won’t know them until you see them!
  13. Go sailing in the British Virgin Islands.
  14. Stay in an over-water bungalow in Fiji.
  15. Go to the top of Olympic Stadium in Montreal.
  16. Visit Camden Yards for a game and take a tour of the Baltimore Harbor after.
  17. Go on a Riviera getaway –Hit Nice, Cannes, Antibes and Monaco in fashion.
  18. Do a cycle tour in Fort Lauderdale, end at the beach and enjoy a late night and a warm ocean breeze.

Do you have anything we should add to this list? Comment below and we’ll make it a part of our Summer Suggestions!

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