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sion center (REC) for assistance with security risk analysis and management. “REC IT consultants have established

relationships with medical practices and can conduct or assist the practice in com- pleting a security risk analysis, which is a required measure for achieving mean- ingful use,” said Dr. Murray, chair of the North Texas REC Board of Directors. For more information on the RECs, visit TMA’s REC Resource Center, www

Cyber liability coverage Because medical practices are vulnerable to computer hacking and identity theft due to the amount of sensitive informa- tion they collect, the Texas Medical Li- ability Trust (TMLT) offers cyber liabil- ity coverage. It is available to physicians, medical groups, and other entities, and it’s included with a policy at no addi- tional cost. The policy covers what TMLT

considers the four most important data breach and privacy liability exposures:

• Network security and privacy cov- erage for third-party claims from electronic and physical information breaches, virus attacks, hacks, iden- tity theft, and defense costs for regu- latory proceedings;

• Regulatory insurance that covers ad- ministrative fines and penalties stem- ming from an investigation by a fed- eral, state, or local government agen- cy resulting from a privacy breach;

• Patient notification and credit-mon- itoring costs coverage that includes all necessary legal, information technology forensic, public relations, advertising, call center, and postage expenses to notify third parties about the breach of information;

• Data-recovery costs insurance that includes all reasonable and necessary costs to recover and/or replace com- promised, damaged, lost, erased, or corrupted data.

At press time, TMLT had received 23 cyber liability claims and had closed six. TMLT anticipated no further expense or investigation into closed claims. Theo van Eeten, TMLT research and product development coordinator, says TMLT paid an average of $5,506 per closed claim as of November. He says the vast majority of claims pertained to privacy breaches, and the largest breach in- volved a server that crashed and affect- ed 1,896 electronic patient records. “The numbers are small so far, and the cyber liability coverage is fairly new,” Mr. van Eeten said. “In addition, the easier and smaller claims tend to get taken care of a little quicker, so the 17 open claims may change the average payout significantly once they’re closed.” TMLT’s cyber liability coverage offers annual aggregate limits of $50,000 per insured physician.

“Medical practices should evaluate whether $50,000 is adequate coverage to meet their needs,” Mr. van Eeten said.

“Various factors — practice size, number of records at risk, the availability of addi- tional insurance coverage, and the party responsible for maintaining the security

54 TEXAS MEDICINE January 2013

of the system — influence the coverage limits a medical practice needs.” Physicians insured by TMLT can

purchase additional limits, subject to underwriting, up to $1 million. TMLT also offers Medefense and cyber liability coverage combined with limits up to $1 million. For more information, call TMLT at (800) 580-8658.

New information on informed consent

While using the disclosure and consent forms that the Texas Medical Disclosure Panel (TMDP) created for certain proce- dures isn’t required, the Texas Medical Association recommends physicians use them when applicable. That’s because using them gives physicians an impor- tant measure of legal protection. TMDP has created List A and List B of those medical treatments and surgical procedures that do and do not require disclosure. If the panel has not made a determi- nation either way regarding a certain procedure, the physician has a duty to “disclose all risks or hazards that could influence a reasonable person in making a decision to consent to the procedure.” If a procedure is on List A, it requires dis- closure, and the panel also lists the risks physicians must disclose. For more information, log on to the TMA website at and click on Practice Management. From there, click on Legal, then Risk Manage- ment, and finally New Information on Informed Consent. You can access disclosure and consent forms for medical and surgical proce- dures, radiation therapy, hysterectomy, anesthesia and/or perioperative pain management, and electroconvulsive therapy. n

Crystal Conde is an associate editor of Texas Medicine. You can reach her by telephone at (800) 880-1300, ext. 1385, or (512) 370-1385; by fax at (512) 370-1629; or by email at

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