Medical Malpractice Insurance Rates Top Factor in Deteriorating Practice Environment for Massachusetts Physicians

Side note: On Tuesday, the Massachusetts Medical Society released its annual MMS Physician Practice Environment Index,a report on 9 factors in the state that influence the practice environment for physicians. For 16 of the past 18 years, the analysis has shown a decline in this environment – and 2009 was no exception.

Of the four factors cited in this decline, it’s no surprise that the cost of medical malpractice insurance is tops on the list. Last year, physician liability insurance rates for doctors in Massachusetts increased by 4% – and, for half of all physicians in the state, medical liability insurance costs make up at least 10% of their total business costs. Some specialists and surgeons are in even worse shape. With such high costs (not to mention an estimated $1.4 billion spent each year in Massachusetts for defensive medical procedures) Massachusetts should commit to tackling medmal reform sooner rather than later.

Contact: Richard P. Gulla
Massachusetts Medical Society
Press Release

Waltham, Mass. — May 25, 2010 — A Massachusetts Medical Society analysis released today shows a prolonged decline in the state’s physician practice environment and points to continuing concerns affecting physicians that are likely to affect the delivery of care to patients.

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