COPIC Comment: A look back on 2017: Our commitment to improve health care
Ted J. Clarke, MD, Chairman & CEO, COPIC Insurance Company
I want to reflect back on this past year of health care: new challenges emerged, aspects of care delivery evolved and technology continued to have an influential role. What did not change, however, was COPIC’s steadfast commitment to supporting medical professionals and improving patient safety. Here are some highlights from 2017 that we are proud to share.
COPIC continued its efforts to expand our regional footprint. This supports our long-term goals of reaching new groups of medical professionals; it aligns with the changing geographic needs of our current insureds; and it allows us to introduce our patient safety and risk management programs to other health care professionals. We grew our presence in Iowa, South Dakota and Oklahoma, while also making our services available in states such as Arizona, North Dakota and Minnesota. We were also proud to be named the “medical professional liability carrier of choice” by the Iowa Medical Society, a distinction we already have with the Colorado Medical Society and Nebraska Medical Association.
Health care remained at the forefront of legislative issues. Working closely with our key partners, including CMS and the Colorado Hospital Association, COPIC monitored and engaged (when necessary) on legislative bills related to the state’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, the system for mental health holds and domestic reporting requirements. These efforts are key to maintaining Colorado’s health care environment and ensuring that we retain the best providers while reinforcing patient safety.
- During the 2017 Colorado legislative session, we tracked approximately 50 proposed bills, reviewed 18 bills and engaged on 11 bills to provide input prior to enactment.
Education on timely issues
As new issues emerged or current issues changed, COPIC provided professional education through in-person seminars and on-demand courses to help address these. Topics included liability issues with EHRs and social media, managing opioids, requirements with allied health professionals, and treating patients dealing with mental health issues. These core efforts connect back to our ongoing commitment of being an education partner that insureds turn to for guidance.
Trusted resource on regulatory/legal issues
There’s a reason we encourage people to “call COPIC.” Our staff of physicians, lawyers, medical professionals, and HR and claims experts stand ready to talk directly with insureds and help them navigate the challenges they face. More than 24,278 calls have been fielded by our staff so far in 2017, on issues that ranged from HIPAA requirements to best practices in human resources.
Key grant funding
In 2017, the COPIC Medical Foundation provided grants that helped fund the following:
- Emergency Department Training Program – Eating Recovery Center
- Community-Based Trauma Informed Training – The Fields Foundation
- Bereavement Training – The Wishbone Foundation
- Physician Colleague Services for Rural Colorado – Lumunos
- Human Trafficking Education – The Lab to Combat Human Trafficking
- Managing and Mitigating Risk on the Western Slope – Montrose Memorial Hospital
- Meals for Care Transitions – Project Angel Heart
COPIC Humanitarian Award
Monte Uyemura, MD, of Wray received our annual COPIC Humanitarian Award. He is a family practice physician who has spent the majority of his career in Wray, where he is affiliated with Wray Community District Hospital. The COPIC Humanitarian Award recognizes the irreplaceable work a physician does for his or her community. Dr. Uyemura chose the Wray Community Hospital Foundation as the beneficiary of the $10,000 grant associated with the award.
As we move into 2018, COPIC looks forward to being there to support medical professionals – a certainty in health care that you can always count on.