Prominent Fayette practice not delivering babies

  1. 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

    Associated Press

    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 costs.

    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.
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  3. by   oramar
    They will eventually get what they want(MDS), they always do. For time being it will cause a lot of pregnant women a great deal of heartache.
  4. by   prn nurse
    This is happening all over the country. The lawyers are making it so expensive for the docs, that the docs are retiring early, moving to a less contigious area, moving out of patient care into consulting and teaching, etc.

    It is especially affecting Ob-Gyn, neurology, and orthopedics...all 3 biggies for lawsuits.
    There is a large five county area where I live that is without an obstetrics doc and without a neurosurgeon. There's plenty of other docs. If you need either of the above, be prepared for a 150 mi drive.
  5. by   Q.
    This happened with some trauma surgeons in Nevada.

    The public is doing this to themselves. They don't care about the nursing shortage until there are DEATHS associated with it, and they don't care about constantly filing lawsuits friviously until the premiums are so astronomical that the doc's can't afford them anymore, and thus close their practices.

    When will people get it??
  6. by   mark_LD_RN
    it is very bad in my area numerous docs have left the state,or retired, others are having trouble getting insurance, we have lost many ob/gyn/renal/neuro and emergency room docs all do to lack of insurance and ridiculous lawsuits.
  7. by   VickyRN
    They will eventually get what they want(MDS), they always do.
    There is great strength in UNITY, especially in a profession that is supplying a vital need to the public. (We nurses could learn something from their example.) The doctors here have a very legitimate concern.... malpractice claims that are totally out of control... a greedy public with a lottery, let's-get-rich-by-suing-SOMEBODY-mentality.... insurance costs through the roof. There has to be an end to this insanity--TORT REFORM. Only when the public can't access health care... maybe the outcry will be so great that needed legislation will be enacted. Let's hope it won't be too late.
  8. by   mark_LD_RN
    vicky sounds like you are from my area, all the things you mention are very real concern for the docs and should be for nurses also. if the hospitals have no docs ,they have no patients we have no jobs. also with the law suit enviroment it is today a nurse is at great risk of being sued also.