NYSOMS News

MLMIC Joins Berkshire Hathaway Family Of Companies
MLMIC Insurance Company (formerly known as Medical Liability Mutual Insurance Company) (“MLMIC”), announced today the completion of its conversion from a property and casualty mutual insurance company to a property and casualty stock insurance company and its acquisition by National Indemnity Company, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (“Berkshire Hathaway”). The conversion and acquisition follow a September 6, 2018 approval by the Superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services and a September 14, 2018 vote of policyholders of MLMIC with policies in effect on July 14, 2016. The cash consideration resulting from the conversion will be paid out to eligible policyholders (policyholders with policies in effect from July 15, 2013 through July 14, 2016) (or their designees) as promptly as practicable.

As a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, MLMIC will have enhanced capacity and financial strength to continue to serve New York State physicians, hospitals and dentists as it has for over 40 years. MLMIC remains the largest underwriter of medical professional liability insurance in New York and continues to be a New York-focused medical malpractice writer regulated by New York State. It will be operated by the same Board of Directors and staff that have served the market well for several decades. Per an amended and restated charter, MLMIC has changed its full name from “Medical Liability Mutual Insurance Company” to “MLMIC Insurance Company.” However, it will still be known by and referred to using the familiar shorthand: “MLMIC.”

Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway’s CEO, stated, “MLMIC is a gem of a company that has protected New York’s physicians, mid-level providers, hospitals and dentists like no other for over 40 years. We are delighted to add them to the Berkshire Hathaway family and enhance their capacity to serve these and other policyholders for many years to come.”

Dr. James Reed, Chairman of MLMIC’s Board of Directors, said, “We are delighted to partner with such a fine organization. MLMIC has always had strong standing and stability within the challenging New York insurance market, and the alliance with Berkshire Hathaway will bring policyholders further peace of mind, knowing MLMIC will be able to offer them an even higher level of service and financial security.”

About MLMIC Insurance Company
MLMIC has been a leader in the medical malpractice insurance industry for over 40 years. Its mission is to provide quality professional liability insurance to healthcare professionals in New York. Today, MLMIC is not only the largest writer of professional liability insurance in the State of New York, but also one of the largest companies of its kind in the nation. MLMIC insures more than 13,000 physicians, 3,000 dentists, dozens of hospitals and thousands of other healthcare professionals and facilities. MLMIC can be found on the internet at www.mlmic.com.

About National Indemnity Company
National Indemnity Company is one of the leading property/casualty members of the Berkshire Hathaway group of insurance companies, with the highest possible financial strength rating by A.M. Best. Located in Omaha, Nebraska, and backed by a wealth of experience, National Indemnity Company offers the kind of stability that (re)insureds can depend upon. National Indemnity Company can be found on the internet at www.nationalindemnity.com.

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AOA HOUSE OF DELEGATES NEWS

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New AOA President
William S. Mayo, DO, a board-certified ophthalmologist from Oxford, Mississippi, was installed as president of the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) at its recent House of Delegates meeting. Dr. Mayo also is a clinical instructor at the William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where he served as chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology.

A graduate of the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, Dr. Mayo completed a residency in ophthalmology at University of Mississippi Medical Center. Additionally, Dr. Mayo is a past president of the Mississippi Osteopathic Medical Association and served on the Mississippi State Board of Medical Licensure from 2006-18, where he was president from 2010-12.

Dr. Mayo shared the three areas he will primarily focus on this year. They are:
  • Improving AOA board certification to deliver solutions that are cost-effective and technologically advanced while being relevant and physician-friendly.
  • Expanding and improving membership services that meet DOs at each stage of their career and deliver what they need.
  • Cultivating and bringing together the osteopathic family.
Delegates also named AOA Trustee Ronald Burns, DO, president-elect of the AOA. Dr. Burns is a board-certified family medicine physician in Orlando, Florida. His term will begin in July 2019.

AOA supports review of cannabis classification
The AOA House of Delegates approved a resolution that supports a review of the classification of cannabis to facilitate advancement in clinical, public health, patient safety and health policy research. The resolution also encourages the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to support development of clinical research studies.

The NIH funded approximately $140 million in grants for cannabinoid research in fiscal year 2017, significantly less than the allocation for similar research of opiates and benzodiazepines. In fiscal year 2018, the NIH nearly doubled funding for research on opioid misuse/addiction and pain to $1.1 billion, yet the restrictions on cannabis medical research remain. Thirty states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation to legalize medical cannabis usage when recommended by a physician. Despite this, as a Schedule I controlled substance, cannabis use in clinical trials requires special licensure and approval from the FDA, DEA and NIDA, obstacles other pharmaceuticals do not undergo.
 
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s publication, The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids,states there is “conclusive or substantial evidence that cannabis or cannabinoids are effective for treatment for chronic pain in adults, antiemetic in the treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, and improving patient-reported multiple sclerosis spasticity symptoms.”
 
The Controlled Substance Act of 1970 defines a Schedule I substance as having no currently accepted medical use in treatment, yet under the FDA Compassionate Investigational New Drug Program, federally regulated medical cannabis is distributed to patients with “serious diseases and health issues for their lifetime.”
 
“This new policy is recognition of an evolving landscape and the need to support evidence-based policies that serve the needs of our patients,” said newly elected AOA president, Dr. Mayo. “We call on Congress to end the restrictions placed on medical cannabis research by appropriately reclassifying the drug.”
 
​New Policy Statement on Physician-Assisted Suicide
The AOA House of Delegates voted down a proposed policy statement on physician-assisted death. The new policy statement would have retained the AOA’s opposition to the legalization of physician-assisted death, but would have also stated that physicians who help their patients end their lives in states where it is legal shouldn’t be discriminated against. Because the policy statement was disapproved, the AOA’s current policy opposing physician-assisted death and policy on end of life care will remain in place until they sunset in 2022.
 
The AOA’s Public Affairs reference committee, which recommended disapproval, felt that the term physician-assisted suicide should be used rather than physician-assisted death, and that traditional osteopathic values dictate that DOs promote health and wellbeing--not the hastening of a patient's death. Additionally, the committee decided that the policy was not consistent across states because the law on physician-assisted suicide is different in many states.

Physician-assisted suicide is currently legal in seven states and Washington, DC, and another 23 states are considering legislation related to physician-assisted suicide at this time, according to deathwithdignity.org
NYSOMS Members Elected to AOA Board of Trustees
NYSOMS Past President Sonia Rivera-Martinez, DO, was elected Second Vice President of the AOA Board of Trustees at the recent AOA Annual Meeting in Chicago. A board-certified physician in family medicine and osteopathic manipulative treatment, serves as an associate professor of family medicine at the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine in Old Westbury, New York (NYITCOM).

An advocate for the osteopathic medical profession at the local, state and national levels, Dr. Rivera-Martinez is past president of the New York State Osteopathic Medical Society (NYSOMS) and past president of the New York State American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians. Previously she served the AOA as chair of the Council on Women’s Health Issues and a member of the Bureau of Scientific Affairs and Public Health.

An avid researcher, Dr. Rivera-Martinez received a research grant from the AOA to fund a randomized controlled trial for diabetes and OMM. Her research has been published in many journals, including The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association and Osteopathic Family Physician.

She’s received many awards honoring her dedication to medicine, including the National American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians Outstanding Female Leader Award, the NYSOMS Unsung Hero Award and the American Osteopathic Foundation Wyeth Emerging Leader Award.

Dr. Rivera-Martinez earned her osteopathic medical degree from NYITCOM. She completed her internship and residency in family medicine at Long Beach (New York) Medical Center, where she served as chief resident. She also was named Intern of the Year in 2002-2003.

David L. Broder, DO, was re-elected as the Vice Speaker of the AOA House of Delegates. Dr. Broder is a board-certified internist and graduate of the inaugural class of the Osteopathic Heritage Health Policy Fellowship. He serves as president and CEO of the New York Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Educational Consortium. Additionally, Dr. Broder is the associate dean for postdoctoral education at the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYITCOM) in Old Westbury and serves as a clinical associate professor of medicine at NYITCOM and the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in New York City.

Prior to his election as vice speaker, Dr. Broder has served the AOA in other capacities, including vice chairman of the Council on Postdoctoral Training Institutions. He also is past president of the New York State Osteopathic Medical Society and currently serves as its parliamentarian.

Upon earning his osteopathic medical degree from NYITCOM, Dr. Broder completed a rotating internship and residency at the New York Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Rochester.​