Lawmaker pushes problem doctor plan to resolve medical malpractice crisis
Tuesday, January 28, 2003
By John M.R. Bull, Post-Gazette Harrisburg Correspondent
HARRISBURG -- A state senator from suburban Philadelphia yesterday unveiled a plan that could alleviate high medical malpractice premiums for doctors by forcing insurance companies to participate in a high-risk insurance plan for problem doctors while lowering everyone else's rates.
The plan by Sen. Stewart Greenleaf, R-Montgomery, would force 900 insurance companies that write property and casualty policies in Pennsylvania to write medical malpractice policies, which Greenleaf said would solve the problem doctors face with not being able to find companies to insure them.
His plan would have the state Department of Insurance rate doctors on their potential risk, similar to how automobile drivers are rated based on age, driving experience, place of residence and the like.
Insurance companies would be required to insure state-rated "high risk" doctors at state-set "high risk" rates, and doctors who are rated as low risks would have their state-mandated medical malpractice insurance
coverage lowered from $1 million to $250,000.
Doctors could obtain more than the minimum coverage, and Greenleaf's bill would mandate doctors reveal to patients how much coverage they have bought.