Monday, August 01, 2005

Workers Compensation Data

This is interesting, and useful. Needing to do research on workers comp rate filings, I stumbled on this site, which links to near every rating bureaus you can think of:

Rather helpful.

The Further adventures of a failed behemoth

From the Insurance Journal: August 1, 2005

Reinsurers Sue AIG Alleging Claims Fraud; AIG
Denies All Wrongdoing

A group of 18 insurers is suing American International Group and bankrupt
fronting company Trenwick America Reinsurance Corp. for allegedly scheming to
collect as much as $73 million in what the insurers claim are "grossly inflated"
workers compensation and other reinsurance claims.

The suit alleges that only about $15 million of the $73 million in claims for which AIG has demanded payment appear to be legitimate paid losses eligible for reinsurance coverage. The remaining amount reflects "highly suspect" estimates of future (incurred but not reported) losses, according to the complaint, which was filed in Suffolk Superior Court in Boston on July 6.

Click on the above link for the rest of the article.
It is amazing to see what is happening with AIG. It is even more amazing to see just how much AIG & Co. was doing sub rosa. I am very curious to see what else is unearthed. Stay tuned, this is going to develop for a long time.

Friday, July 29, 2005

The Medical Error Reporting Bill—More help or harm?

Congress has recently passed a bill to enhance the reporting of medical errors.

A national system designed to increase reporting of medical errors has won final congressional approval and been sent to President Bush.

It is estimated that more than 250 Americans die every day as a result of
preventable medical errors. Health care officials say increased reporting of
such errors would make it easier to spot harmful trends and find solutions, but
the current environment punishes openness because reporting such errors could
lead to the loss of credentials or a lawsuit.

Click Here for the rest of the Insurance Journal Article

While in theory, I too agree that this is a wonderful idea, I wonder how many congresspeople truly understand the stresses and pressures of medical emergencies. Yes, many, if not most medical error are underreported, and most are preventable. As such, nothing should stand in the way of preventing them.

However, hindsight is always 20/20. In the extreme stress of a situation, every single eventuality is not always immediately apparent. The practicioner has to make the best possible decision he or she can under the circumstances. After the fact, it is always possible for a defense lawyer, with six months to prepare, to have the luxury to do research and find the best possible solution, or reasons why the chosen decision was not the best. Try doing that when a patient is hemorrhaging on the floor, within seconds of bleeding to death.

I hope that this legislation will not result in having less decisive and less confident doctors; hesitant to do anything for fear of lawsuit.

There are too many lawyers for our own good, but that is another issue.