Healthcare Professional Opportunities Discovered
By Linda Wright
At Founders Pro, we pride ourselves on our specialization and expertise in the wholesale professional liability arena. Whether it is a law firm, technology firm, real estate agent or architect, our retail partners know that we stay abreast of the latest trends and issues related to the class. The healthcare industry is no exception. Cyber breaches, HIPAA violations, Medicare/Medicaid fraud allegations, large jury verdicts, the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”), physician shortages, hospital/health system mergers … the list of current events is endless. It can be mind boggling. So why would you want to write healthcare professional business? There are a number of reasons.
First and foremost healthcare is a growth industry set to explode, especially with the launch of Obamacare. By all estimates, we have just begun to tap into the estimated $32 million that will be added to our system over time. The nation already struggles with a serious doctor shortage and healthcare reform will likely worsen the situation. This provider shortage is changing the landscape of the healthcare delivery system. Telemedicine is on the rise. Urgent care and “convenient” care facilities staffed by nurse practitioners and physician assistants seem to be springing up in every neighborhood grocery store and drug store. Temporary staffing is expanding to meet the shortages at hospitals, doctor’s offices and other medical facilities. Some physicians have converted their practices to a fee-based concierge model as a result of reduced Medicare reimbursements. Community Health Centers are needed. Where will we all receive care in the future? Think about the opportunity.
We are a nation of aging baby boomers. People are living longer and are more health conscious. People want to look as good as they feel. The anti-aging industry is “booming” to meet the needs of this population. Everything from laser hair removal to teeth whitening can be found in these “fee for service” medical esthetic operations. It is an evolving market with more invasive procedures being offered as they expand services to meet client needs. Physicians and mid-level providers are enhancing their incomes by providing services in this environment. Lose weight, gain strength, grow hair, and look younger … all in our quest to recapture our youth.
Home health care services, both medically and non-medically related, are growing to address the quality of life and cost savings desires of the aging population. Now our aging parents can live in the comfort of their own home and receive assistance with their daily living needs. Assisted Living Facilities and Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) are needed to support this population. Adult Group Homes with a smaller, more intimate environment are in growth mode. Think about the opportunity.
Another sector that is generating a great deal of interest and growth is behavioral health. The growth is supported both by legislation—including US Mental Health Parity legislation in 2008 and more recent Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid coverage for substance abuse and behavioral health services. Look for these services to be provided on a for-profit and not-for-profit basis.
As the health care industry morphs and works to comply with the regulatory compliance issues of the Affordable Care Act, look for continued growth in the Healthcare Information Technology (HCIT), business and consulting services industries. These operations may provide billing services, quality measure compliance, provider workflows, computer hardware & software, education & training and numerous other business services for the health care industry. Just pull up any medical related association website and note the “supporting cast” of associate members and sponsored vendors. It may not be what you think of as traditional health care services, but this is a multi-billion dollar industry. Think about the opportunity.
And finally, as any good insurance person will remind you, clients with multiple insurance needs are certainly more profitable for your agency. Maximize your revenue per client in health care. These days it is more than just medical malpractice. Agents should address the exposures beyond medical professional to include regulatory liability, medical billing E&O for governmental billing audits, cyber/privacy, managed care E&O, D&O and EPLI. Privacy issues of Electronic Health Records (EHR) are a significant exposure and a topic in itself.
This is just a sampling of what I believe to be growth segments in health care. We have not even touched on the impact of the pharmaceutical and clinical trials growth segments. No one knows where we are actually heading, but we do know that we will need health care services, today and in the future. How those services are provided and by whom, I can only speculate. Think about the opportunity.
About the Author
Linda Wright is the Healthcare Practice Leader for Founders Professional. Linda specializes in the placement of medical professional, regulatory liability, cyber/privacy, Managed Care E&O and Management Liability for the healthcare sector. Prior to joining Founders, she worked for over 20 years in various capabilities with Brown & Brown, Inc. and RPS – Risk Placement Services, Healthcare.
About Founders Pro
Founders Professional is an independently owned wholesale insurance brokerage specializing in assisting retail agents with the placement of professional liability insurance nationwide.
For More Information:
Linda G. Wright, CIC
Healthcare Practice Leader
Founders Professional, Inc.
Reprinted with permission from Rough Notes magazine. All rights reserved.