This article appeared in todays addition of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.
Prominent Fayette practice not delivering babies
Docs who handled half of county's births blame insurance hike
Friday, August 30, 2002
HOPWOOD, Pa. -- Three obstetricians who run a practice that delivers nearly half of all babies born in Fayette County will no longer treat pregnant woman because of high malpractice insurance
Laurel Highlands Ob/Gyn, which has offices in Hopwood, Connellsville and Brownsville, announced it will no longer deliver babies as of Nov. 1. Doctors say they will have to pay $400,000 in annual malpractice premiums if they want to renew their policy, up from the current $150,000.
Without obstetrics, the practice estimates its premiums to be less than $100,000.
"It's a very stressful time for patients," said Dr. Christine Wilson, who had to refer 75 pregnant woman to new doctors.
Uniontown Hospital CEO Paul Bacharach said that even though the hospital has four obstetricians, the absence of Laurel Highlands is expected to affect the hospital.
"If this continues to be an ongoing trend, as it appears to be throughout the state, it could be problematic as far as obstetric services," Bacharach said.