(PRWEB) March 27, 2005
DonÂt look to the federal or state legislatures to control medical malpractice costs. ÂWe can do it ourselves,Â is the mantra of Pediatricians Insurance Risk Retention Group of America (PIRRGA). Now in its second year, the small, innovative insurance provider is having real success in Florida. ÂDoctors can reduce their risk, practice better medicine, be aware of problem patients, and avoid lawsuits,Â says the companyÂs president, Gene Rosov. PIRRGA first issued Florida policies in February, 2004. According to the industryÂs ÂCrittenden Medical Insurance News,Â Texas and Utah are next in line.
ÂDoctors and legislators are looking for solutions in all the wrong places,Â says Rosov, who runs the company with a team of insurance, medical and legal experts. PIRRGA provides substantial premium refunds to the doctors who participate in its risk management education and loss prevention programs. The company is owned by its doctor/members.
PIRRGA examined the principal causes of malpractice litigation and constructed a comprehensive program to help its member/physicians avoid lawsuits. The program begins with proper patient Âcharting.Â PIRRGA is providing a special Âsick-visit encounter formÂ to its physicians, which leads the doctor through a stepwise process to cover all the key bases. The forms are faxed daily to the company. The next morning, it reports in one page on laboratory tests, specialist referrals, patient vital signs measurement and pricing/coding guidelines. Forms are then electronically available to the physician on a protected website. ÂMany physicians will find that theyÂre cheating themselves of real revenue,Â says Rosov, who claims that the coding program alone can add $500 to $2000 to a pediatricianÂs monthly revenue.
PIRRGA requires its doctors to digest a monthly article on medical and medical-malpractice issues and answer questions. Quarterly small-group teleconferences keep physicians in touch with the latest changes in pediatric healthcare, diagnosis and regional issues. PIRRGA members use the companyÂs discharge form handouts for most sick-visits. The forms provide detailed guidance about what do if a childÂs condition changes or worsens after leaving the office. Parents sign the form to show understanding and compliance, and this helps to forestall a common lawsuit complaint: ÂThe doctor never told me.Â
The company provides a Patient-Physician Arbitration Agreement, available on the Internet (http://www.arbitrationagreement.com) and promoted with an office handout. ÂThe Agreement assures the patient that if thereÂs a problem, it will be settled by qualified arbitrators and paid quickly, not over the 2 to 3 years typical for a court case Â and it reduces frivolous lawsuits,Â says PIRRGAÂs Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Todd Zimmerman. Dual board-certified in pediatrics and pediatric emergency medicine, Dr. Zimmerman chairs PIRRGAÂs Underwriting & Risk Management Committee. ÂDischarge forms, arbitration agreements, daily encounter forms reporting, monthly information articles and teleconferences all help our doctors practice safer medicine, and alerts them to possible practice problems,Â he says.
ÂWe canÂt legislate better medicine,Â says Dr. Zimmerman, Âor forestall a few unscrupulous law firms from persuading people to sue doctors unfairly. But we can help improve the quality of care, and we can increase our membersÂ awareness of problems, issues, and Âlottery-mindedÂ patients.Â
For more information about PIRRGA (http://www.pirrga.com), contact Gene Rosov, President, at 305 751-9195. Domiciled in Vermont, PIRRGA has offices in Miami and is a Florida-approved insurance carrier.
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