The 2019 Health Care Power Brokers

Sollie Bartoe
Area Senior Vice President
Gallagher, Nashville, Tenn.

Sollie Bartoe, Area Senior Vice President, Gallagher

When Baptist Memorial Health Care Corp. merged last year with a health care system, its master group medical practice liability policy was ready for the new physicians. That’s because of Gallagher’s Sollie Barto. Under Baptist’s prior structure, claims could pit doctor against employer, said Rodney Betts, VP, finance.

Bartoe established a group policy that provided appropriate limits for each doctor’s specialty; an excess program, which allowed Betts to sleep at night; and the “consent to settle” provision eliminated adversarial claims.

Bartoe collaborated with the New Mexico Hospital Association on the New Mexico Patient Compensation Fund, under which hospital professional liability losses are limited to $600K. But Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center was ineligible for the program.

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Bartoe developed a fix: A wrap-around liability program for hospital professional, general and universal life. Under the plan, said CEO Jim Heckert, cases go before a panel of physicians. “It’s a fairer litigation process. Sollie made it available to small, independent hospitals like us.”

Nonprofit NorthCrest Medical Center discovered water gushing from corroded underground pipes that were too old for an insurance payout. Bartoe knew how to retrofit without disruptive excavation. And the kitchen leak “wasn’t covered, but he fought for months. If he couldn’t do it, it couldn’t be done,” said CFO Kim Pridgen. “Sollie’s the one I call for honest feedback and advice.”

Erik Burt
Area President
Gallagher, Houston

Erik Burt, Area President, Gallagher

Erik Burt faced an interesting challenge: Herding independent “alpha dog” radiologists into the largest insurance purchasing group in the specialty. But he got it done and produced significant savings, said Bud Dey, EVP, The Radiology Essential Solutions Group.

Burt “drove through adversity to an improbable feat” in 2018’s hardened medical malpractice market. “Carriers believe there’s a lot of exposure they don’t know about,” Dey said. In fact, the group had not performed well since negotiations began in May. Nevertheless, “he delivered an amazing outcome.”

Burt wanted to use economies of scale for better-priced medical malpractice insurance for a physician purchasing program consisting of 300 pediatricians from a handful of pediatric groups, said Chad Fragle, senior director strategy and operations for Children’s Medical Center in Dallas. But first, he needed buy-in from the physicians, CEOs, office managers and boards of directors.

“He’s adaptable enough to make [sure] all the stakeholders fully understood the coverages and features in different malpractice plans,” Fragle said. “He’s a strategic partner with the tactical skills [to] get things done.”

The broker has concerns about whether his small- to mid-sized clients were protected on cyber risk. Physicians didn’t know what to buy or where to buy it. Burt created a best-in-class policy form and worked with Lloyd’s on the manuscripted coverage, which is primary or excess depending upon whether a claim triggers the underlying sublimit.

Ruth Kochenderfer
Senior Vice President
Marsh, Washington, D.C.

Ruth Kochenderfer, Senior Vice President, Marsh

When the Justice Department issued “Individual Accountability for Corporate Wrongdoing,” Lynn Calhoun, AVP, risk & insurance services, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, didn’t know CHOP’s existing D&O policy wouldn’t extend to some of its volunteer board members’ exposures in the “new era of personal accountability.”

“God forbid our dedicated board should face personal, non-indemnifiable fines from a false claims action,” Calhoun said. “We wouldn’t have plugged that gap without Ruth [Kochenderfer]. … She can explain legal things in layman’s terms.”

For a California health care system, Kochenderfer anticipated a risk in her client’s cyber security policy because its lack of full policy limits for regulatory fines could include OCR investigations, which had been on the rise for privacy breaches in health care systems. She renegotiated policy limits for a full tower. Within budget.

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“Nobody else has her expertise,” the system’s risk manager said.

Markets were shying away from Trinity Healthcare, because its cyber policy was built into its integrated program, and excess liability covered its cyber policy.

“One big cyber claim could drain the bank in underlying limits and excess limits,” said El Iaconelli, Trinity’s director, risk finance. Kochenderfer created a standalone cyber tower, structured so markets could compete in pricing.

“The credits from the excess bought a bunch more excess limits in the standalone tower,” Iaconelli said. “It was a win for cost and savings, efficiency in risk transfer and from a risk enterprise perspective.”

Brandon Robertson
Vice President of Health Care
The Buckner Company, Salt Lake City

Brandon Robertson, Vice President of Health Care, The Buckner Company

Brandon Robertson is a former administrator with an assisted care company and has also worked with an ambulance company. As such, he has a deeper knowledge of health care risks than many brokers might.  He is also willing to deliver an extraordinary level of customer service.

In one instance, a sprinkler line froze in an assisted living facility, one of Robertson’s clients. When alerted to the incident, Robertson drove 40 miles to the facility, bringing his in-house adjuster with him.

With his sector experience to draw on, Robertson assisted the staff at the center in cleaning up the flood waters and moving residents. Robertson worked for hours to help.

“I thought it was an extraordinary level of customer service, “ the client said.

Robertson wasn’t done. He worked for four more months on the claim and on the restoration of the facility, not stopping until the facility was completely restored.

Another facility, another flood, and again, Robertson jumped into help. “He didn’t just sign some papers and go home,” the admiring client said. Robertson worked through the night to help move some 60 residents and help salvage their belongings.

His clients say Robertson frequently outshines other brokers, many of them with national footprints, with his ability to go above and beyond to craft tailored coverage.

Robertson took over one health care account from a national broker. He went on to save the client more than $300,000 in premiums.

Lindsay Roos
Senior Vice President
Marsh, Hamilton, Bermuda

Lindsay Roos, Senior Vice President, Marsh

Ascension Care Management already had 12 insurance lines in its program, and it wanted to add an investment manager’s E&O line for its third-party business and venture exposure for its four private equity funds. “We are not the client for typical medical malpractice brokers,” said Holly Meidl, VP, risk services.

Complicating matters, a carrier backed out because of an acquisition that added 30 percent to its exposure. And five days before the policy was to bind, an eight-figure judgment from an old loss came down. Marsh’s Lindsay Roos kept it all from unravelling.

“Lindsay worked with the lead carrier to hold the program together. Because of that relationship, her technical expertise and her ability to make key arguments,” she succeeded, said Meidl, with the new coverages and an additional $25 million in coverage.

Trinity Healthcare faced a different issue.

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As several of its financial lines approached renewal, its relationship with the incumbent deteriorated, said Ruth Goodell, Trinity’s SVP, insurance and risk management services.

Meanwhile, a major U.S. carrier withdrew from Trinity’s jurisdiction, creating a hole in its professional liability program. As Roos connected with Bermuda carrier Markel to fill the void, she was “multitasking at her finest,” said Goodell.

“She listens to our concerns, crosses boundaries and helps solve problems. She saved us money when the market was changing and costs were rising.”

Henry Yuan
Account Executive
Aon, San Francisco

Henry Yuan, Account Executive, Aon

As medical practitioners assumed increasingly administrative roles, the risk manager for a large health care organization began to worry about an administrative act producing one of two worst-case scenarios: Either a savvy plaintiff’s attorney could “double dip” into both its malpractice and errors and omissions towers, or “neither policy responds, and we’re left holding the bag.”

It was both a structural gap and an overlap, the risk manager said. The risk manager gives Aon’s Henry Yuan credit for proposing firewalls that would prevent claims from accessing both towers.

Another large health care organization was worried about its affiliated practice’s clinical trials. “Nobody had any idea who was working on what, what coverage was available, what was in place or what was needed,” said a risk manager.

Yuan dove into “identifying the real risk and how to address it — through transfer or process change or something else,” said the risk manager. The resulting coverage is “fantastic” and “providers and staff understand what to do, what risk looks like. They’re part of the process.”

An EPL carrier for Inland Empire Health Plan initially denied a claim based on its interpretation of policy language. Yuan took on the role of advocate, said Steve Sohn, managing counsel. “He said, ‘This is why it’s under the coverage inclusion.’ He knows the right buzzwords.”

The campaign had a good outcome and the carrier retracted its initial denial. “This is why you develop a relationship with a broker who has a relationship with the carriers,” said Sohn.

The complete list of 2019 Power Broker® winners can be found here.

Finalists:

Lily Han
Managing Director
Marsh, New York

Michael Randall
Regional EVP Sales
AssuredPartners, Lake Mary, Fla.

Scott Reese, ARM
President
AssuredPartners/ Alliance Insurance, Eugene, Ore.

Ettie Schoor
President
PRISM Insurance Group, Cedarhurst, N.Y.

Elizabeth Spink, CIC, CISR
VP Healthcare Practice Leader
Lockton Companies, St. Louis

More from Risk & Insurance

More from Risk & Insurance

4 Companies That Rocked It by Treating Injured Workers as Equals; Not Adversaries

The 2018 Teddy Award winners built their programs around people, not claims, and offer proof that a worker-centric approach is a smarter way to operate.
By: | October 30, 2018 • 3 min read

Across the workers’ compensation industry, the concept of a worker advocacy model has been around for a while, but has only seen notable adoption in recent years.

Even among those not adopting a formal advocacy approach, mindsets are shifting. Formerly claims-centric programs are becoming worker-centric and it’s a win all around: better outcomes; greater productivity; safer, healthier employees and a stronger bottom line.

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That’s what you’ll see in this month’s issue of Risk & Insurance® when you read the profiles of the four recipients of the 2018 Theodore Roosevelt Workers’ Compensation and Disability Management Award, sponsored by PMA Companies. These four programs put workers front and center in everything they do.

“We were focused on building up a program with an eye on our partner experience. Cost was at the bottom of the list. Doing a better job by our partners was at the top,” said Steve Legg, director of risk management for Starbucks.

Starbucks put claims reporting in the hands of its partners, an exemplary act of trust. The coffee company also put itself in workers’ shoes to identify and remove points of friction.

That led to a call center run by Starbucks’ TPA and a dedicated telephonic case management team so that partners can speak to a live person without the frustration of ‘phone tag’ and unanswered questions.

“We were focused on building up a program with an eye on our partner experience. Cost was at the bottom of the list. Doing a better job by our partners was at the top.” — Steve Legg, director of risk management, Starbucks

Starbucks also implemented direct deposit for lost-time pay, eliminating stressful wait times for injured partners, and allowing them to focus on healing.

For Starbucks, as for all of the 2018 Teddy Award winners, the approach is netting measurable results. With higher partner satisfaction, it has seen a 50 percent decrease in litigation.

Teddy winner Main Line Health (MLH) adopted worker advocacy in a way that goes far beyond claims.

Employees who identify and report safety hazards can take credit for their actions by sending out a formal “Employee Safety Message” to nearly 11,000 mailboxes across the organization.

“The recognition is pretty cool,” said Steve Besack, system director, claims management and workers’ compensation for the health system.

MLH also takes a non-adversarial approach to workers with repeat injuries, seeing them as a resource for identifying areas of improvement.

“When you look at ‘repeat offenders’ in an unconventional way, they’re a great asset to the program, not a liability,” said Mike Miller, manager, workers’ compensation and employee safety for MLH.

Teddy winner Monmouth County, N.J. utilizes high-tech motion capture technology to reduce the chance of placing new hires in jobs that are likely to hurt them.

Monmouth County also adopted numerous wellness initiatives that help workers manage their weight and improve their wellbeing overall.

“You should see the looks on their faces when their cholesterol is down, they’ve lost weight and their blood sugar is better. We’ve had people lose 30 and 40 pounds,” said William McGuane, the county’s manager of benefits and workers’ compensation.

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Do these sound like minor program elements? The math says otherwise: Claims severity has plunged from $5.5 million in 2009 to $1.3 million in 2017.

At the University of Pennsylvania, putting workers first means getting out from behind the desk and finding out what each one of them is tasked with, day in, day out — and looking for ways to make each of those tasks safer.

Regular observations across the sprawling campus have resulted in a phenomenal number of process and equipment changes that seem simple on their own, but in combination have created a substantially safer, healthier campus and improved employee morale.

UPenn’s workers’ comp costs, in the seven-digit figures in 2009, have been virtually cut in half.

Risk & Insurance® is proud to honor the work of these four organizations. We hope their stories inspire other organizations to be true partners with the employees they depend on. &

Michelle Kerr is associate editor of Risk & Insurance. She can be reached at [email protected]