Willis Announces Accountable Care Organization Insurance Liability Policy

Willis has introduced the Accountable Care Organization Liability insurance policy to address the health care industry’s move to adapt health care delivery models following the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. This product, developed in conjunction with IronHealth, a unit of Ironshore, offers coverage for stand-alone Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) addressing the risks and insurable liabilities associated with forming an ACO.

ACO’s have landed squarely at the center of the health care discussion and many health care organizations are planning to form ACOs, defined as networks of health care providers that band together to provide the full continuum of health care services for patients. This model employs various payment methodologies to reward health care organizations such as hospitals, physicians and payors based upon the delivery of high-quality care to improve health outcomes while slowing growth in expenses.

While adoption of this model will vary in execution, forming an ACO will bring together affiliated and non-affiliated stakeholders in a variety of structures creating new risks and insurance challenges for health care organizations. Participants or owners of an ACO could face increased exposures in the form of:

Because these new exposures will be shared among multiple stakeholders, reliance on contractual arrangements and traditional insurance and risk management programs maintained by the individual stakeholders fall short of providing the necessary asset protection for these new structures. As an example, most risk management programs for health care organizations and physicians do not customarily include coverage for health care administration services such as claims administration, selection and de-selection of providers and/or distribution of payments to providers. In addition, the direct and/or vicarious liability created by the acts of the entity also creates coverage issues for individual stakeholders in their individual insurance and risk management programs.

This Willis product delivers a range of coverage options including coverage for:

Additional coverage features include a broad definition of insured, coverage for ACO managed care/claims administration services, and affirmation of the policy as primary for the ACO regardless of the existence of other insurance. The program also includes protection against antitrust and regulatory issues.