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Captives may help with emerging Ebola, cyber risks

Captives may help with emerging Ebola, cyber risks

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Captives can be a useful tool to help insure and manage emerging threats in the health care industry, such as cyber risks and the Ebola virus, a panel of captive and health care industry experts said Monday.

Sarah Pacini, vice president of risk management and insurance at Advocate Health Care in Downers Grove, Illinois, noted that insurance coverage for health care organizations has started to include exclusions for the Ebola virus.

She said health care organizations that use captives might use those alternative risk transfer vehicles to insure Ebola-related liabilities, as well emerging risks from an increased number of insured patients under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

“We're having a lot of uninsured people ... who are now insured and seeking health care, and so that increases the exposures from an underwriting perspective,” Ms. Pacini said.

Ms. Pacini's comments were made during a presentation Monday at the American Society For Healthcare Risk Management's Annual Conference & Exhibition in Anaheim, California.

Rebecca Havlisch, system vice president of risk management/business health for Banner Health in Phoenix, said health care organizations should consider using captives to insure emerging risks only if they have plans in place to mitigate such issues.

“We have to get back to the basics in managing some of these risks,” Ms. Havlisch said. “Ebola is emergency management. Cyber (is) evolving, but we still have get back to managing them on a day-to-day basis.”

Marc Scher, partner and global practice leader at consultant KPMG L.L.P. in Irvine, California, said captives can help improve risk management strategies for health care organizations because the captives and organizations can educate each other on best practices.

“You bring a lot of knowledge and understanding to the table, so you should be actively involved as these topics about strategic changes are occurring,” Mr. Scher said. “The sum of the group is going to be better than the individual parts.”

Mark Karlson, national health care financial and professional liability practice leader at Marsh L.L.C., said health care organizations should evaluate how ACA is causing their businesses to change, such as through implementing accountable care organizations, and how such changes might affect how their risks are insured.

“There's a lot of changing things out there in terms of how you should use your captives,” Mr. Karlson said.

The panel was moderated by Holly Meidl, national health care practice leader at Marsh in Nashville, Tennessee.

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