COPIC Comment: A look back on 2014

Saturday, November 01, 2014 12:48 PM
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COPIC Comment

Ted J. Clarke, MD
Chairman & CEO
COPIC Insurance Company

When I reflect back on the last year, there is an appreciation for the different things COPIC accomplished and their common connection to our mission. Health care continues to change and we continue to evolve as a critical partner for medical professionals, groups, and facilities. The following highlights from 2014 demonstrate where we have been and how these efforts reinforce our ongoing commitment to better medicine.

Lending our insight to improve patient care

  • A January 2014 article in Health Affairs highlighted COPIC’s 3Rs (Recognize, Respond, and Resolve) Program as a national model for “communication-and-resolution-programs” that encourage the disclosure of unanticipated outcomes to patients and proactively seek resolutions.
  • Several of COPIC’s physician leaders were contributors for the new textbook, Patient Safety in Surgery, which was co-authored by Philip F. Stahel, MD, and Cyril Mauffrey, MD, both of the Department of Orthopaedics at Denver Health Medical Center. Topics covered in the book reflect the focus of several of the 100+ education opportunities COPIC offers each year.
  • An article in Inside Medical Liability titled “Defense of Claims in a Changing Environment,” recognized COPIC’s “robust” patient safety and risk management programs as an industry leader – a distinction that recognizes our investment in programs and resources that support reduced errors and improved outcomes.

Having an impact on legislative matters
COPIC continued to have a strong presence at the state capitol in 2014 along with our partners at Colorado Medical Society (CMS) and the Colorado Hospital Association. We kept on eye on legislation that had the potential to impact health care, including:

  • House Bill 1283 – This aims to increase participation in the state Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP). Efforts here focused on addressing the concerns of expanded liability as the bill mandated registration for providers.
  • Senate Bill 162 – This establishes the components of a quality management program for emergency medical services organizations. Our efforts focused on guidance to ensure legal protections for open, honest discussions about care that supports patient safety.

Receiving ACCME accreditation status
In March 2014, COPIC was directly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME). This created a unique opportunity for us to develop further and offer CME activities that meet the educational needs of health care professionals. COPIC also became one of a small group of medical professional liability carriers in the nation with ACCME accreditation status.

Funding promising initiatives
The COPIC Medical Foundation continued its tradition of supporting health care through grant funding. In 2014, we provided more than 10 different grants to help initiatives designed to improve patient safety and quality of care. These initiatives focused on areas such as patient engagement programs, management of chronic pain, recruitment of providers in rural areas, and online training toolkits. To view a list of these grants along with descriptions of the initiatives they funded, please visit

Partnering to support better outcomes
COPIC maintains a wide range of strong partnerships that are built upon ongoing collaboration. During the last year, these included:

  • Another year of participation at the annual Telluride Patient Safety Roundtable, a top forum that brings together health care leaders and patient safety advocates to connect with medical residents and students from across the U.S.
  • COPIC employees were involved in a silent auction where proceeds helped support the opening of the new Stout Street Health Center, an organization essential to providing health care services for Denver’s homeless population.

And in 2014, COPIC celebrated its 30th anniversary as a medical liability insurance carrier. This was also a milestone to recognize our partnership with CMS. We are very thankful for the successful years of working together and this was highlighted in a series of video interviews from partners, physicians and others about our joint contributions in areas such as:

  • Support for safety net clinics.
  • Role in helping physicians remain healthy.
  • Defense of good medicine.
  • Leadership in tort reform and peer review.

You can watch these video interviews at Additional interviews will be posted during the upcoming year.

Posted in: Colorado Medicine | COPIC Comment | Initiatives | Advocacy


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