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Risk Mgmt. Book

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Risk Management, Liability Insurance, and Asset Protection Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™

88Risk Management, Liability Insurance, and Asset Protection Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™

Book Review

Risk Management—It’s Not all About Medical Malpractice … Anymore

In the narrow world of our day-to-day practice, orthopaedic surgeons often think of risk management strictly in terms of avoiding exposure to medical liability lawsuits. But, in Insurance and Risk Management Strategies for Physicians and Advisors, author, physician, and healthcare economist Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA has assembled a cadre of experts who address the broader issue of risk management.


This book examines the many important risks that we as physicians face daily in the practice of medicine. You may not think of life insurance, sexual harassment, Medicare fraud, marital divorce, and privacy issues as part of a risk management plan, but they are. Dr. Marcinko has written a book that provides an initial reference point for these diverse issues.

Each of the 15 chapters covers a single area, providing a broad overview as well as specific information and recommendations. This book addresses the personal, professional and business risks physicians face on a daily basis.


Taking Care of Yourself

The personal side is first, beginning with a discussion on insuring the doctor’s life. The chapter explains the various types of policies available, as well as various permutations and combinations of policy provisions. It briefly discusses both health insurance and long-term care insurance. It includes the critical features to look for in selecting a long-term care policy for yourself and the necessary criteria for successfully filing a claim under such a policy.


Many orthopaedic practices are also small businesses, so property insurance and the business uses of life insurance, such as in buy-out and succession planning, are covered. The author reviews the use of restrictive covenants and employment contracts, providing examples of what works and what does not. One of the questions this chapter addresses is the difference in applicability between a restrictive covenant with regard to a departing employed physician and a restrictive covenant included in the sale of a medical practice.


Compliance and Workplace Issues

Recent actions by the Department of Justice and activities of the Office of the Inspector General [OIG] regarding Medicare have focused attention on compliance issues. The text provides a good overview on medical documentation and healthcare compliance, including a summary of record-keeping obligations.


In addition, the author includes pointers on how a medical practice can avoid running afoul of the federal False Claims Act, fraud and abuse statutes, Stark and safe harbor laws, and the “alphabet soup” of HIPAA, OSHA, and ERISA regulations. Risks involved with serving as an expert witness, doing peer review and taking call are also covered. The discussions are as timely as those sponsored by the AAOS. The chapter on medical malpractice even includes a discussion of physician self-regulation and expert witness discipline.


The section on sexual harassment explains what constitutes a hostile work environment and what the physician’s role should be in risk avoidance. Complimenting an employee’s dress or telling a slightly off-color joke may seem innocent enough, but not if they meet the two criteria that determine offensive behavior and can lead to a lawsuit. Violence in the workplace is discussed as it relates to patients and employees, both as perpetrators and as victims. The author recommends that every orthopaedic practice have a policy and a plan in place to deal with these issues should they arise.


Going to Court

One-quarter of the book is devoted to medical liability risks. Although the discussion of the medical liability crisis might be a bit dated and only too familiar to many readers, the section on the anatomy and procedures of a medical liability trial and the physician defendant’s role in that process is excellent. From subpoena to verdict, the process is laid out. Written by a malpractice attorney who is also a physician, the chapter provides solid advice on how to respond to the subpoena, secure the medical record (make an exact copy and seal it), and find personal counsel.


The financial risks of divorce are rarely covered in books geared to medical professionals, but this text examines them in detail. It also discusses prenuptial agreements and the special circumstances surrounding older divorcing medical professionals. Final chapters cover asset protection principles and how to select insurance and financial advisers who specialize in serving medical professionals.


Recommended Reading

Each chapter is authored by an expert in that particular field, but the text has a uniform consistency and approach, listing basic principles and citing specific examples to illustrate the issues involved. Ample references are provided, including written texts and articles, case law, and Internet Web sites. The table of contents is functional, and the index is well-organized for quick reference.


Insurance and Risk Management Strategies for Physicians and Advisors (Jones and Bartlett Publishers, Sudbury, Mass) is a comprehensive examination of risk management strategies. It does not provide specific legal or financial advice, but it does provide a background in many areas germane to the practical aspects of maintaining a medical practice in this millennium. Although not a stand-alone text, it gives the reader the vocabulary and information necessary to take many of these issues to the next level. 


This book is recommended reading for those about to enter the practice of medicine; those already in practice will find it a helpful reference when seeking resources on a particular issue.

My wife tells me that because it also addresses the personal and emotional issues affecting physicians’ lives, it is suitable for spouses as well.


By Murray J. Goodman MD; a member of the AAOS Medical Liability Committee. He can be reached at mj-goodman@comcast.net  




“Physicians who don’t understand modern risk management, insurance, business and asset protection principles are sitting ducks waiting to be taken advantage of by unscrupulous insurance agents and financial advisors; and even their own prospective employers or partners. This comprehensive volume from Dr. David Marcinko, and his co-authors, will go a long way toward educating physicians on these critical subjects that were never taught in medical school or residency training.”
—Dr. James M. Dahle, MD, FACEP, Editor of The White Coat Investor, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

“With time at a premium, and so much vital information packed into one well organized resource, this comprehensive textbook should be on the desk of everyone serving in the healthcare ecosystem. The time you spend reading this frank and compelling book will be richly rewarded.”
—Dr. J. Wesley Boyd, MD, PhD, MA, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

“Physicians have more complex liability challenges to overcome in their lifetime, and less time to do it, than other professionals. Combined with a focus on practicing their discipline, many sadly fail to plan for their own future. They need trustworthy advice on how to effectively protect themselves, families and practice, from the many overt and covert risks that could potentially disrupt years of hard work.
Fortunately, this advice is contained within ‘Risk Management, Liability Insurance, And Asset Protection Strategies For Doctors And Advisors: Best Practices From Leading Consultants And Certified Medical Planners™’. Written by Dr. David Edward Marcinko, Nurse Hope Rachel Hetico and their team of risk managers, accountants, insurance agents, attorneys and physicians, it is uniquely positioned as an integration of applied, academic and peer-reviewed strategies and research, with case studies, from top consultants and Certified Medical Planners™. It contains the latest principles of risk management and asset protection strategies for the specific challenges of modern physicians. My belief is that any doctor who reads and applies even just a portion of this collective wisdom will be fiscally rewarded. The Institute of Medical Business Advisors has produced another outstanding reference for physicians that provide peace of mind in this unique marketplace! In my opinion, it is a mandatory read for all medical professionals.”
—David K. Luke, MS-PFP, MIM, CMP™, Net Worth Advisory Group, Inc., Sandy, Utah, USA

“This book is a well-constructed, comprehensive and experiential view of risk management throughout the entire medical practice life-cycle. It is organized in an accessible, high-yield style that is familiar to doctors. Each chapter has case models, examples and insider tips and useful pearls. I was pleased to see multi-degreed physicians sharing their professional experiences in a textbook on something other than clinical medicine. I can’t decide if this book is right on – over the top – or just plain prescient. Now, after a re-read, I conclude it is all of the above; and much more.”
—Dr. Peter P. Sidoriak, Pottsville, Pennsylvania, USA

“When a practicing physician thinks about their risk exposure resulting from providing patient care, medical malpractice risk immediately comes to mind. But; malpractice and liability risk is barely the tip of the iceberg, and likely not even the biggest risk in the daily practice of medicine. There are risks from having medical records to keep private, risks related to proper billing and collections, risks from patients tripping on your office steps, risks from medical board actions, risk arising from divorce, and the list goes on and on. These liabilities put a doctor’s hard earned assets and career in a very vulnerable position. This new book from Dr. David Marcinko and Prof. Hope Hetico shows doctors the multiple types of risk they face and provides examples of steps to take to minimize them. It is written clearly and to the point, and is a valuable reference for any well-managed practice. Every doctor who wants to take preventive action against the risks coming at them from all sides needs to read this book.”
—Richard Berning, MD, FACC, New Haven, Connecticut, USA

“This is an excellent companion book to Dr. Marcinko’s Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies For Doctors And Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™. It is all inclusive yet easy to read with current citations, references and much frightening information. I highly recommend this text. It is a fine educational and risk management tool for all doctors and medical professionals.”
—Dr. David B. Lumsden, MD, MS, MA, Orthopedic Surgeon, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

“This comprehensive text book provides an in-depth presentation of the cyber security and real risk management, asset protection and insurance issues facing all medical profession today. It is far beyond the mere medical malpractice concerns I faced when originally entering practice decades ago.”
—Dr. Barbara s. Schlefman, DPM, MS, Family Foot Care, PA, Tucker, Georgia, USA

“I read and use this book, and several others, from Dr. David Edward Marcinko and his team of advisors.”
—Dr. John Kelley, DO, Orthopedic Surgeon, Tucker, Georgia, USA

“An important step in the risk management, insurance planning and asset protection process is the assessment of needs. One can create a strong foundation for success only after all needs have been analyzed so that a plan can be constructed and then implemented. This book does an excellent job of recognizing those needs and addressing strategies to reduce them.
—Shikha Mittra, MBA, CFP®, CRPS®, CMFC®, AIF®, President – Retire Smart Consulting LLC, Princeton, New Jersey, USA

“The Certified Medical Planner™ professional designation and education program was created by the Institute of Medical Business Advisors Inc., and Dr. David Edward Marcinko and his team (who wrote this book). It is intended for financial advisors who aim specifically to serve physicians and the medical community. Content focuses not only on the insurance and professional liability issues relevant to physicians, but also provides an understanding of the risky business of medical practice so advisors can help work more successfully with their doctor-clients.”
—Michael E. Kitces, MSFS, MTAX, CFP®, CLU, ChFC, RHU, REBC, CASL, http://www.Kitecs.com, Reston, Virginia, USA

“I have read this text and used consulting services from the Institute of Medical Business of Advisors, Inc. on several occasions.”
—Dr. Marsha Lee, DO, Radiologists, Norcross, Georgia, USA

“The medical education system is grueling and designed to produce excellence in medical knowledge and patient care. What it doesn’t prepare us for is the slings and arrows that come our way once we actually start practicing medicine. Successfully avoiding these land mines can make all the difference in the world when it comes to having a fulfilling practice. Given the importance of risk management and mitigation, you would think these subjects would be front and center in both medical school and residency – ‘they aren’t.’ Thankfully, the brain trust over at iMBA Inc., has compiled this comprehensive guide designed to help you navigate these mine fields so that you can focus on what really matters – patient care.”
Dennis Bethel, MD, Emergency Medicine Physician

Written by Dr. Marcinko

August 29, 2008 at 9:45 pm

3 Responses

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  1. What a Book!

    I agree with the above book review. This book is so good … that it is chilling. Why can’t the insurance companies put out this kind of information?

    A Podiatrist

    Jeff DPM

    August 26, 2009 at 10:42 am

  2. TWIMC

    I perform foot and ankle surgery and read this book. It is excellent. Well done, Dr. Marcinko and staff. I have several of his other books, as well.

    David Lumsden; MD
    [Orthopedic Surgeon]
    Baltimore, Maryland

    Dr. Lumsden

    August 26, 2009 at 10:48 am

  3. “Am I over-insured and thus wasting money? Am I under-insured and thus at risk for a liability or other disaster? I never really had the means of answering these questions; until now.”

    Lloyd M. Krieger MD MBA
    [Rodeo Drive Plastic Surgery]
    Beverly Hills, California, USA

    Lloyd M. Krieger MD MBA

    September 11, 2015 at 2:23 am

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