Las Vegas Review-Journal, Jan. 29, 2003
Wednesday, January 29, 2003
Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal
Group: 76 medical practices have closed
By RYAN PEARSON
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
CARSON CITY -- The largest Nevada doctors group has counted 76 medical specialists who have closed their practices since March because of sky-high malpractice insurance
An additional 126 doctors, including surgeons and hard-hit obstetricians, told the Nevada State Medical Association they are either "seriously considering" or are in the process of closing down.
"These are the ones who have made a decision, either conscious or unconscious, that they're giving up on Nevada," association Executive Director Larry Matheis said Tuesday.
Matheis surveyed association members by fax last week, updating an occasional member survey of more than 1,500 doctors.
The numbers of doctors closing or limiting their practices has steadily climbed since the state declared a malpractice insurance crisis early last year.
They include 19 obstetrician-gynecologists who have closed their practices and nine others who said they stopped delivering babies, Matheis said.
He said the statistics boost his group's push for new legislation that doctors hope will help bring premiums down. Several insurers have raised premiums in recent months.
Doctors successfully circulated a petition calling for the state to strip away exceptions to a $350,000 cap on jury awards for malpractice pain-and-suffering damages. That cap was approved by legislators in a special session last year and took effect in October.