PA: Newest plan for Malpractice insurance

  1. 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.
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  3. by   EmeraldNYL
    Thanks for posting this, Karen. I feel it's a step in the right direction but mandating caps on awards for emotional damages is important too. I'm glad the state governement is finally taking this seriously because it affects the quality of health care patients receive.
  4. by   RNConnieF
    Thanks Karen. We can only hope they get it right soon. One of the suburban hospitals runs full page ads telling the public how many physicians left the hospital that week. Another ad bios one MD, his specialty, when he started at the hospital, how many years experience he had, and when they left the hospital. I hope people understand how serious this is before we lose all the docs.
  5. by   sjoe
    This will just cause a number of insurance companies to no longer provide this kind of coverage in that state--much like State Farm doesn't sell auto insurance in Massachusetts (or didn't when I lived there). Tort reform and caps are the only realistic solution.