Thursday, September 28, 2006

Sell Stocks Now

The Dow Jones Industrial Average reached its highest level in six years on Thursday afternoon but edged off the peak to finish just short of its all-time closing high. The S&P 500 hit a fresh a five-year high.
“The Dow is nothing but a flirt,” said Ken Tower, chief market strategist at Cybertrader. “It’s enjoying the attention and prolonging the mystery.”
The Dow will not reach another all-time closing high until at least 2009. We are currently in a long-term bear market. This rally will not last. Sell your index funds now. There is a 50% chance of a major ( greater than 15% drop in the Dow and S+P 500 indexes ) market crash in the next 45 days. If you are adventurous, buy Diamond and Spyder Put options.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Tort Reform Works

Medical Assurance Company of Mississippi
404 West Parkway Place
Ridgeland, Mississippi 39157

September 13, 2006

MACM Announces Premium Reduction for 2007

Medical Assurance Company of Mississippi (MACM) announced today that it will reduce its medical liability insurance rates across the board by 10 percent for 2007. This action was approved by MACM’s Board of Directors on September 6, 2006.

“We are very pleased to announce a rate reduction for our insureds for the second straight year,” Michael D. Houpt, President and Chief Executive Officer of MACM, said. “The favorable trends relative to losses and loss adjustment expenses that were evident in 2005 have continued through 2006; therefore our Board felt comfortable in making this decision.”

Numerous claims that were filed in late 2002 to avoid provisions in the tort reform packages passed by the Mississippi Legislature have been favorably resolved during this year. “We are finally disposing of large numbers of non-meritorious claims with little or no expense,” Houpt said. “Combined with the other positive effects of tort and judicial reform, our financial results to date indicate that another rate reduction is justified, and I trust that our insureds will be pleased.”

In September 2005, the Board of Directors reduced renewal rates for 2006 by 5 percent and in December 2005, granted a retroactive refund of up to 15 percent on 2005 premiums.

Mississippi leadership responded favorably to the news.

“This across the board reduction in medical liability rates by the largest insurer of doctors in Mississippi is a significant and welcome decision that will have an immediate positive impact,” Governor Haley Barbour said. “It is another concrete example of how tort reform is working to protect the quality and availability of health care by ending lawsuit abuse and leading to reduced medical liability rates in Mississippi. This is great news.”

Commissioner of Insurance George Dale said, “Mississippi continues to show insurance companies that recent reforms are working and do aid in providing and maintaining a fair and equitable marketplace. I commend MACM for establishing a financial position that allows for this second consecutive rate reduction. Reforms were needed and now benefits such as this reduction are the result.”

Founded in 1976, Medical Assurance Company of Mississippi is an organization of physicians and non-physician staff members dedicated to providing sound, stable insurance products and quality related services to physicians and other health care providers practicing in the state of Mississippi

Stanford Bans Drug Company Gifts to Doctors

Kevin MD links to an article about a new policy at Stanford:
Stanford University Medical Center will prohibit its physicians from accepting even small gifts like pens and mugs from pharmaceutical sales representatives under a new policy intended to limit industry influence on patient care and doctor education.
The policy would also apply to sales representatives from makers of medical devices and other companies, not just pharmaceutical companies. Company representatives would be barred from areas where patient treatment and doctor education occur, with some exceptions.
“We want to secure the public trust to value what happens in academic medicine,” Dr. Philip A. Pizzo, dean of the Stanford School of Medicine, said in an interview.
Stanford academic physicians will continue to be able to accept speaking fees (which can be up to $5000) for drug company dinners and CME seminars, but the residents won't get $1 pens. This really restores my trust in the Stanford University Medical Center Physicians.