The Big C

“clinical progress, insurance provision and the patient’s perspective”

Council Chamber, City Chambers

Tuesday 19 June 2012 at the Council Chamber room at City Chambers in Edinburgh (253 High Street, EH1 1YJ). Click here for map.

This was a particularly exciting event because not only were we holding an extended event kicking off in the afternoon but this was also a joint event with the Health Claims Forum (HCF). This offered a fantastic opportunity for claims assessors and underwriters to share experiences and for each discipline to learn from the other.

The event was aimed at claims assessors and underwriters and the main focus was on oncology in the afternoon with a neurology demonstration in the evening.


Dr Ian Cox
Dr Ian Cox

The first presentation of the afternoon was from Dr Ian Cox, CMO of GenRe on the early detection of cancer. This session looked at: up to date information on diagnostic techniques and prevention, including the current position on screening programmes and their impact on patients. We also looked at improved practices and technologies to make testing less invasive.

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Peter Banthorpe & Yunus Piperdy
Peter Banthorpe and Yunus Piperdy

“The Changing CI Proposition” by Peter Banthorpe, Actuarial Research Manager and Yunus Piperdy Underwriting Research and Development Manager, both at RGA. Peter and Pip discussed the changing face of the CI proposition including the design and impact of new CI definitions in terms of research, pricing, definition construction, partial payment ideology and what it all means for underwriters and claims assessors.

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Prof Robert Rubens
Professor Robert Rubens

Professor Robert Rubens, Chief Medical Officer to Swiss Re, will discussed the problematic areas of assessment for cancer claims when applying the critical illness definition. He talked us through the transition from a pre-malignant condition to an established cancer, discuss if a neoplasm is benign or malignant and how to tell if invasion has occurred with particular reference to carcinoma, sarcoma, leukaemia and lymphoma.

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Dr Andreas Armuss
Dr Andreas Armuss

Dr Andreas Armuss, Medical Consultant at Munich Re, talked us through advances in treatment of cancers and the impact on mortality rates. He discuss the underwriting of late residual mortality risks for people diagnosed decades ago and if we can be more generous than we have previously been with some cancers.

We explored if cancer could now be regarded as a chronic condition rather than terminal; whilst looking at the factors assessors should consider on claims that now rarely meet policy criteria purely on just a diagnosis.

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The final oncology session of the afternoon moved away from the scientific and focuses on the human side of illness with thought provoking and insightful testimonies from cancer patients, Shirley Tyrrell and Alister Walker. They generously shared with us their own experience of being diagnosed and treated for breast and prostate cancer respectively and their experience of health insurance. As claims assessors and underwriters, it was a great opportunity for us to look beyond the application or claim form at the human experience behind the condition.


Dr Derry
Dr Chris Derry

For the evening event, Dr Chris Derry, Consultant Neurologist at the Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh presentated “A neurological review”. This was an interactive session with Dr Derry performing a typical neurological examination on our own Sean White and discussing the key indicators and tests used in the diagnosis of a neurological disorder.

The presentation brought to life some of the key elements of the review process and was of interest to both underwriting and claims.

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roulette wheel

Following the neurology presentation we retired to the European Room where Medicals Direct Group generously sponsored and hosted a casino themed evening. Thank you to the venue for providing a telly in the next room where we watched England beat the Ukraine 1 – 0 when not betting.


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