Malpractice Premiums Trail Inflation for Many Physicians
Many tort reform proponents are quick to point out that caps on damages are necessary because medical providers’ insurance premium costs are rising and rising. They claim that health care costs are rising as a result of this. They claim that doctors are leaving the practice of medicine because it is too expensive to maintain insurance against lawsuits. This is not the case in much of the country.
Premium rates for medical malpractice insurance, on average, have been creeping down since 2008. And in 23 states, many physicians are paying less on an inflation-adjusted basis for malpractice insurance than they did in 2001, according to a Medscape Medical News analysis of premium rates published by Medical Liability Monitor (MLM).
Experts are attributing this trend to the simple fact that physicians are being sued less for medical malpractice. This is consistent with many states’ tort reform measures that discourage lawsuits. For example, in Indiana, plaintiffs must go through a medical review panel before their case can go to court. By restricting access, many injured patients are deterred from pursuing a claim.
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