Thursday, December 25, 2003

Medical Malpractice Caps Fail to Prevent Premium Increases

According to Weiss Ratings Study, Physicians in States with Caps Suffer 48% Increase in Median Annual Premiums Even While Insurers Enjoy Slowdown in Payouts .
In reviewing the impact that tort reform has had on both medical malpractice (med mal) premiums paid by doctors in three high-risk specialties and insurers’ claim payout levels between 1991 and 2002, Weiss noted the following trends:
Physicians continued to suffer a rapid increase in med mal premiums despite caps
Meanwhile, the insurers enjoyed slowed increases in claims payout levels
Other Factors Contributing to the Med Mal Crisis:
The medical inflation rate:Medical costs have risen 75% since 1991
The need to shore up reserves for policies in force: Med mal insurers have been consistently under-reserving since 1997
A decline in investment income: Investment income declined by 23 percent in 2001.
Financial safety
Supply and demand for coverage: The number of med mal carriers has dropped in the past 5 years
Click here to see the full report on caps.

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