Frequently Asked Questions
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Certitude was developed in 2011 to provide effective, competitively priced healthcare professional liability protection for the affiliated physicians and healthcare providers of Ascension’s health ministries. The Certitude program has a unique and important goal: to support Ascension’s focus on patient safety and physician/hospital alignment for better patient outcomes. Certitude also helps reduce claims, improve claims outcomes, increase physician peace of mind, and ultimately, lower premiums. Underwritten by the ProAssurance Companies*, Certitude delivers strong protection and reasonable rates from a leading, national insurer known for integrity, management excellence, and financial stability.
*The ProAssurance Companies include ProAssurance Indemnity, Inc., ProAssurance Casualty Company, and ProAssurance American Mutual, A Risk Retention Group—all fully licensed by the state of domicile and are rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best.
More than 4,000 physicians from Ascension health ministries rely on Certitude for competitively priced insurance, risk management resources to help improve patient safety and prevent losses, and superior claims defense. Certitude takes a unique approach to professional liability coverage by reinforcing Ascension’s culture of patient safety and physician/hospital alignment for better results and increased physician peace of mind.
Yes; Certitude’s rates are competitive, and lower premiums are an important goal—achieved through increased patient safety, fewer claims, and better claim outcomes. The program is designed to reach these results through physician commitment to patient safety, coordinated risk management, and united defense where appropriate.
Certitude’s pricing also reflects the efficiency of a financially stable, well-managed insurer and the buying power of Ascension’s thousands of affiliated physicians and healthcare providers. In some states, participants may also be eligible for premium credits for claims-free experience or completion of risk management activities. See your health ministry section or ask your Certitude agent or ProAssurance for more information.
Certitude is an insurance program that is underwritten by ProAssurance Companies. It was created by ProAssurance at Ascension’s request—and is offered exclusively to Ascension health ministry-affiliated physicians and healthcare professionals.
Yes. Certitude offers interest-free payment plans through its insurer, ProAssurance. Choose from annual, semi-annual, quarterly, and nine-pay plans; the nine-pay option is an Electronic Payment Plan.
Yes. ProAssurance policyholders are welcome to apply—as long as they are affiliated with an Ascension health ministry participating in the Certitude program.
No. Risk management services are available to Certitude participants at no added cost. Certitude encourages use of these benefits—designed to help insureds improve patient safety and manage clinical risks more effectively.
Yes; ProAssurance Companies underwrite and issue your professional liability policy through the Ascension Risk Purchasing Group (RPG) for the Certitude program. As part of ProAssurance Group, each of these companies are rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best.
ProAssurance has been selected as a Ward’s 50® top insurance company every year since 2007. Importantly, this award is based on objective measures of management excellence through conservative accounting measures.
Once Certitude is available through your health ministry, a ProAssurance-appointed agent will contact you to answer your questions and assist you in the application process. After you apply and accept the premium quote, your agent will obtain your membership application signature and collect a one-time $50 membership fee for the Ascension Risk Purchasing Group, Inc. (for group policies, the maximum one-time fee is $250).
You can also download an application or find an agent on your health ministry’s Certitude page.
An RPG is a type of insurance entity created by federal law. It allows those with common risks to negotiate for their own coverage—essentially as a unique risk pool. With an emphasis on patient safety, Certitude insureds are likely to generate fewer claims and, ultimately, experience lower premiums.
RPGs have functioned for decades in the U.S. as independent programs underwritten by an insurer. The ProAssurance Companies underwrite the Certitude program for members of the Ascension Risk Purchasing Group.
Certitude insureds in states with existing guaranty funds will continue to be protected by their state fund. Certitude is a national program designed to work seamlessly with the requirements and benefits available in each state with participating Ascension health ministries.
The Certitude policy provides you with unique policy features, including CyberAssurance® Plus—coverage for many types of cyber threats—and peer review coverage. Other provisions vary by state. See your health ministry’s page or your Certitude agent for your state’s specifics.
CyberAssurance® Plus includes coverage for a broad range of cyber-related losses including: hacking, ransomware, and cyber terrorism; assistance with responses to certain events; and reimbursement of defined fines and penalties. It also provides liability coverage—as defined in the Certitude policy for your state—for:
- network security and privacy wrongful acts for all physicians on your policy;
- defined costs related to patient notification and data recovery; and
- fines and penalties for violations of privacy regulations such as HIPAA.
Higher limits for cyber coverage are available. For more information about CyberAssurance Plus or additional coverage, contact your Certitude agent or visit your health ministry page for a ProAssurance market manager who can assist you.
Yes. Another unique feature of the Certitude policy is coverage for your peer review services. It includes coverage for participation in a duly constituted hospital committee for the purposes of credentialing persons seeking appointment to a medical staff or evaluating medical staff members.
Because state laws governing insurance are unique, your Certitude program may have additional unique features as well. See your health ministry’s page for an overview. Or, contact your local Certitude agent or ProAssurance for a complete listing of terms and conditions for your state.
Founded in 2011, the Certitude program’s focus on patient safety and unified claims results from its early years can now be compared to industry averages. The analysis shows that Certitude is closing a significantly higher percentage of its claims without indemnity payments. Specifically:
- 90% of Certitude claims from program inception through 2016 were closed without indemnity paid (Certitude six-year data, 2011-2016).
- 73% of overall healthcare professional liability claims closed in the U.S. were closed without indemnity paid (Physician Insurers Association of America’s Data Sharing Project, 2011-2015—the most recent five-year period available).
- Certitude’s 90% is 23.3% better than the industry average.
Certitude’s approach of using a unified claims defense where possible aids success, with aligned interests resulting in exceptional claims defense and outcomes. The majority of the program’s 90% of cases closed with no indemnity paid involved a unified defense.
A unified claims defense is one of the Certitude program’s strengths. When a claim occurs, Certitude begins with a joint approach to defense—with the facility, physicians, and insurer all working together. This philosophy ensures that the physician’s voice is heard throughout the process. When facts of the case permit, Certitude uses a unified defense.
Yes, it can be. Under the right circumstances, Certitude’s unified claims defense is a better approach for everyone—the physician(s), facility, and the insurer. A unified defense aids success, with aligned interests resulting in exceptional defense and outcomes. The majority of the program’s 90%* of cases closed with no indemnity paid involved a unified defense.
*Certitude six year data, 2011-2016.
Certitude is available to physicians and healthcare providers in over 20 health ministries nationwide with new health ministries being added. Over 4,000 physicians and healthcare professionals already participate. See your health ministry section for the Certitude Program available in your state.