Prominent doc leaving state, citing insurance cost

  1. Prominent doc leaving state, citing insurance cost

    Friday, July 18, 2003

    Associated Press - Pittsburgh Post Gazette

    INDIANA, Pa. -- The president of the Pennsylvania Orthopedics Society resigned yesterday and will move to California because, he says, Pennsylvania's medical liability insurance rates are too high.

    Dr. Paul Burton said he'll leave the Indiana County practice he founded in 1991 on Aug. 15 and join an eight-surgeon team at Arrowhead Orthopedics in Redlands, Calif.

    Burton said he and his four Indiana County colleagues each paid $45,000 in liability premiums last year, and those bills rose to $65,000 this year.

    "It's the only reason that I ever considered leaving here," Burton said. "We don't know if there will be insurance available next year. Will it be affordable? There's no certainty here."

    Burton, a longtime advocate of medical insurance reform in Pennsylvania, believes California solved the problem by capping non-compensatory damages.

    Burton said he recently had an epiphany when he took his youngest daughter with him to a doctors' protest in Harrisburg. On the way home, he remembered taking his oldest daughter with him to a similar rally in 1996.

    "This is useless. It's killing me to keep making these trips and not seeing something substantial done," Burton said. "Until enough people leave, it's not going to change."
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  3. by   purplemania
    Good for him! People will not wake up until it hits THEM in the pocket and there are no good docs left to sue. I am in favor of capping non-compensatory damages.
  4. by   SmilingBluEyes
    This is becoming a trend nationwide. It is scary. Very scary. I hope we can do something about it. SOON.
  5. by   VickyRN
    Sad and frustrating when TPTB don't see the light until it's too late. Doctors are now beginning to "vote with their feet" (something we nurses have been doing for years). The patients and society are the ultimate losers.
  6. by   oldgirl
    My daughter got a letter the other day-her OB/GYN is closing his practice due to the cost of malpractice insurance. I'm sure there will be many more.
  7. by   hennys
    we need more people speaking up and less crazy useless foolish lawsuits and malpractice suits!
  8. by   James Huffman
    While frivolous lawsuits are certainly a problem, the cause of ever-increasing malpractice insurance (not a problem among nurses, as I have pointed out before) is almost completely due to low interest rates. Here are 2 discussions about this:


    Jim Huffman, RN