Ind. Department Announces Lower Medical Malpractice Rates for 2008

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Indiana Department of Insurance (IDOI) Commissioner Jim Atterholt recently announced that Patient’s Compensation Fund (PCF) surcharge rates will be reduced by 19.1 percent for physicians and 1.3 percent for hospitals effective March 1, 2008.

“This is the first reduction for physicians and hospitals since the PCF’s inception in 1976,” said Atterholt, who attributed the reductions to an increase in efficiencies in the administration of the PCF and to health care providers’ contributions in recent years that rebuilt the PCF’s balance.

“The stabilization of the PCF is essential to Governor Daniels’ goal of ensuring the availability of affordable health care to Indiana’s citizens while maintaining PCF balances sufficient to compensate victims of malpractice. I am pleased that we are able to provide that stability while also reducing the burden on participating health care providers,” said Atterholt.

IDOI Chief Legal Counsel Doug Webber also cited recent favorable rulings from Indiana’s courts as contributing to the decrease.

“There was a movement by some plaintiffs’ attorneys to try to expand the Medical Malpractice Act’s limits by claiming one act of malpractice could generate multiple claims for emotional distress. The courts of appeal have not allowed such recoveries,” Webber said.

The PCF was founded in 1976 to provide compensation to patients severely injured by medical malpractice and is administered by the IDOI. The PCF is funded solely through surcharge payments by Indiana health care providers. Participation is voluntary and open to all persons and entities providing health care in Indiana. PCF members receive excess coverage of $1,000,000 above their underlying responsibility for the first $250,000 in coverage.

Surcharge for physicians is based on the type of practice. A hospital’s surcharge is determined by several factors, including number of beds.

Source: Indiana Department of Insurance
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