Who?s Who - Health Care

Find out who The Daily Transcript recognizes among the "Who's Who in Health Care" in San Diego in this special report. We'll take a look at local facilities that offer some of the best medical advancements around. Find out more about the health care insurance industry, hospital legal counsels and others.

  • D&O insurance reverts to its roots

    Public company director and officer liability continues to drop, but for how long? The decreases have got to be fleeting because the economics of the industry remain fundamentally flawed.In the early 1990s, policyholder attorneys successfully argued in three milestone cases (commonly known as the Nordstrom, Safeway, Caterpillar). The flaws in director and officer policy language resulted in broader coverage for the corporation than the industry had anticipated, underwritten and allowed for pricing. The industry was faced with two responses: (1) it could either tighten the policy language and return the coverage intent back to insuring individual liability, or (2) it could underwrite for the expanded coverage of the corporation, as well as the individuals.The industry moved en masse toward the latter. However, because of the superheated economy, returns on invested premium dollars led to intense competition for market share. As a result, underwriters never properly priced for the increased exposure that came with the corporate balance sheet protection through the expanded coverage in the 1990s. With the economic meltdown at the turn of the millennium, the industry was left with broader coverage than envisioned and dramatically lower pricing than needed to match the coverage.The counting meltdowns, as well as economic factors, resulted in a landslide of loss activity from which the D&O insurance industry will be a long time recovering. From 2001 through 2003, the industry premiums more than doubled. Premium increases of this magnitude attracted new capital to the D&O business. The new capital came without claim-paying history; therefore, the only way to gain market share was by under-pricing. We have now been seeing approximately one and a half years of new capital entering the D&O market, artificially depressing pricing.However, the fact remains that the D&O industry has fundamentally flawed economics. Consider the following:Each year there are approximately 210 new securities claims filed. Yet, each year only half those numbers of cases settle. As a general observation, smaller cases tend to settle first.The SEC is on-track to double the staffing in its enforcement division. Additionally, it is upgrading the talent level.We just don't seem to be able to run out of accounting scandals.In the era of accounting scandals and corporate meltdowns, the federal bench has dramatically reduced the dismissal rate of securities cases.Industry estimates from top experts predict that in excess of $80 billion to $125 billion will be needed to settle the existing inventory of over 1,000 securities cases filed in the federal docket. The industry is believed to be reserved at approximately one-quarter of these numbers.The industry consensus is uniform. Coverage must focus on the individual directors and officers, and pricing must increase in order to sustain the viability of the D&O insurance industry. Yet, the insurers that have taken steps in this direction have been punished by an immediate loss of market share. As an alternative, for over a year now insurers have been offering alternative coverage products for public companies with much more narrow coverage focus for individual directors and officers. Yet these policies are not selling very well. Insurers that have attempted to force their policyholders into more narrow coverage have damaged broker and policyholder relationships. There is no clear solution to the dilemma. However, it is clear that pricing will increase substantially.It is equally clear that coverage will eventually focus back on the individual directors and officers. There are other reasons beyond the economic factors that are forcing this change in coverage emphasis. There is a growing perception of a conflict of interest between insuring the corporate balance sheet and insuring individual liability of executives and directors. In the event of inadequate limits, if the majority of the coverage flows to the balance sheet, who should get priority over coverage proceeds? In the event of a bankruptcy, is the policy an asset of the bankruptcy estate? These and other similar questions are being raised with increasing frequency, and all too often too late in the game.Further trends are influencing the change in emphasis of coverage from the corporation toward the individual. The SEC is increasingly targeting individual director and officer liability in criminal and civil prosecutions. The U.S. Attorney's office in San Diego has often been quoted as saying that "individuals commit crimes, corporations do not." Lead institutional investor plaintiffs are seeking individual executive and director contribution to securities claims settlements, and are willing to pay an increased plaintiff contingency fee to see this through. Judges are widely documented as discouraging corporate indemnification in securities claims settlements than involve any amount of individual confessed or adjudicated culpability.As a result of these trends, we are already beginning to see an increase in D&O policy claim payments under the individual liability portion of the coverage, and a decrease in the amount of claim payments under the corporation's liability portion of the policy.

  • Long-time colleagues combine experience to form own law firm

    Although Lotz Doggett & Rawers LLP has only officially been in existence since the fall of 2002, partners Thomas Lotz, Jeffrey Doggett and Kimberlee Rawers have a long history of practicing law together.

  • Service, diversity is key at Community Health Group

  • Get the best emergency care with American Medical Response

    American Medical Response has been serving the San Diego community for over 50 years. Starting in 1946 as Hartson's Ambulance, AMR quickly grew into one of the most respected and highly regarded ambulance companies in the United States. Currently serving providers and patients in over 250 communities across the country, AMR serves more communities and customers than any other private ambulance provider in the nation.

  • UCSD doctor awarded Potamkin Prize

    The Potamkin Prize, one of the nation's highest honors in neurosciences, was awarded this year to Leon Thal, M.D., University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Roger Nitsch, M.D., Neuro Science Center, Zurich, Switzerland. The two will share the $100,000 prize, which was awarded at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology April 27 in San Francisco.

  • UCSD's PTE team: Surgery that saves lives

    Pam Peterson, a Realtor in Wichita, Kan., routinely showed dozens of houses to her clients. But when it came to second floors, Peterson would come up with an excuse not to go upstairs. She couldn't climb even a flight. She'd given up tennis and running with her daughter. Bathing and getting dressed for work were exhausting. The lethal blood clots in her pulmonary arteries were slowly choking off her ability to breathe.

  • Keeping the business of health care healthy is crucial to success

    When was the last time you, a family member, employee or employee family member was hospitalized or received outpatient care? Odds are that it wasn't too long ago. That's why nearly every San Diegan is affected by the business management of hospital care in San Diego County.

  • Weekends and evenings -- a bad time to get sick

    A recent study in Pediatrics analyzing 20,547 admissions in 15 pediatric intensive care units from 1995 to 2001 found that pediatric patients admitted during evening hours had higher odds of death than daytime admissions.

  • Multidisciplinary team makes medical magic

    San Diego is a travel destination known for its natural beauty, inviting climate and abundance of family-friendly activities and attractions. Now, families from Texas, Hawaii, Florida, Alaska and even the Philippines are discovering there's another distinctive feature about the city. It's home to San Diego Children's Hospital and Health Center's specialized and highly regarded Craniofacial/Neurosurgical Services joint program.

  • Paradise Valley Hospital celebrates centennial

    Paradise Valley Hospital has been delivering quality health care to San Diego's South Bay for nearly a century. Founded in 1904 as a 30-room sanitarium, Paradise Valley Hospital is proud to have grown and changed along with the communities we serve.

  • Pacific Building Group completes ground-up construction of new Burbank Medical Plaza

  • Medical, dental practice lessees enjoying building ownership

  • Survival for private practice physicians depends on creative solutions

    These days, even physicians with the noblest intentions and desire to help others are finding themselves and their private practices in an ongoing battle to survive in an uncertain economy and amid the seemingly ever-changing medical and health care industries.

  • Reducing the risk of malpractice litigation

    When most physicians embark upon their careers, they never anticipate being a defendant in a medical malpractice action. Why should they? The vast majority of physicians enter the medical practice to make a difference. Never in their wildest dreams do they anticipate they will be blamed for an unexpected complication or suboptimal result.

  • UCSD Healthcare shines new lights on breast cancer

  • Final accord reached by Sharp, nurses union

    The 2,600 nurses in San Diego's Sharp HealthCare system could see a difference in their paychecks beginning Oct. 1 under a new three-year contract ratified by the nurses' union.

  • Tribes seek continued support for Indian health care services

    SACRAMENTO -- California tribal casinos have been enormously lucrative, with more slot machines and gaming halls likely on the way as Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger negotiates with suddenly wealthy tribes to help trim a massive budget deficit.

National News

Archived Reports

Who?s Who - Banking, 2004

With so many new names and faces emerging in today's banking and finance community, competition among area banks remains tough. Find out what's going on in our local banking world in this annual special report.