Thomas J. Curry
Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, Washington State Medical Association
Physicians Insurance A Mutual Company and the Washington State Medical Association have collaborated on issues and projects to support the company’s insureds and the association’s members since Physicians Insurance was created in the early 1980s. It is a partnership unrivaled elsewhere in the nation, and goes well beyond the two organizations’ fervent work to foster the best possible tort law climate in this state.
This common work outside of the liability arena has taken on new urgency with the waves of uncertainty, angst, and change now roiling the health care waters. Our management teams have been jointly analyzing the needs of physicians and your medical practices, evaluating tangible levels of support, and providing services that matter as physicians evaluate their medical practice options. And you do have options. The STEPS program is the newest vehicle for these support services. It includes:
Discounted services for Physicians Insurance insureds and WSMA members
Through recognized consultants, we provide guidance in practice operational assessment and long-term strategic planning. See the list of consultants at http://www.wsma.org/practice_resource_center/products-and-services.cfm.
Practice management tools
- Coding and billing assistance, including
- a chart review service, a coding hotline, and coding office staff certification guidance
- Insurance claim assistance
- ICD-10 implementation guidance
- Seminars and webinars
- An internal billing audit
- A HIPAA transactions CD training tool (with a member discount purchase)
Physicians Insurance and the WSMA understand that physicians and their staff are stressed for time. “I just want to see my patients and keep the doors open” is a common comment when we talk to you. These services respect that desire, while reconciling it with the need. These support services are tiered:
Tier I – Self-guided resources: easy-to-use access to well-organized resources on practice management and legal issues, available at no charge to WSMA members and Physicians Insurance insureds, via www.wsma.org and www.phyins.com.
Tier II – Educational programs: in-person seminars, live and archived online webinars, and other conferences and presentations, dealing with practice management and clinical issues and offered by both the WSMA and Physicians Insurance, often at no charge or at a low cost.
Tier III - Consulting assistance:discounted services
Physicians Insurance and the WSMA are meeting with physicians and practice managers on an ongoing basis to understand your needs and to define further support services and programs. Today, more than ever, physicians contemplating their practice options need data, support, and a strategic plan. The services from Physicians Insurance and the WSMA can support you right now in your desire to maintain an independent medical practice, and provide a better understanding of your options.
Never has the old adage “look before you leap” been more appropriate—and necessary.