Malpractice insurance needs tighter controls

http://starbulletin.com

Doctors are returning to the state Legislature this year to urge enactment of limits on noneconomic damage awards in malpractice lawsuits, which they blame for skyrocketing insurance rates. A better approach would be tightening insurance controls and empowering the state’s Medical Claims Conciliation Panel to halt frivolous lawsuits before they reach court.

Plaintiffs’ attorneys have largely ignored Hawaii’s $375,000 cap on awards for physical pain and suffering, instead asking juries to award larger amounts as compensation for mental anguish, disfigurement and loss of enjoyment of life. That strategy too often is blamed for increases in malpractice insurance rates.

In past years, Hawaii doctors have asked the Legislature to duplicate California’s $250,000 cap on malpractice insurance rates. The argument failed when it was pointed out that California’s malpractice insurance rates rose six-fold in the 13 years following the cap’s enactment and were finally brought under control in 1988 after voters required state approval of tighter insurance regulation. Now they point to Texas, which they say had a net loss of 14 obstetricians from 2001 to 2003 but has experienced a net gain of 163 obstetricians since the enactment of caps.

Hawaii’s overall health care performance is ranked best in the nation by the Commonwealth Fund, a foundation promoting health care. Legislators should pause before patterning any aspect of the islands’ health care system after Texas, ranked 48th among states’ overall performances and dead last in patient access.
see original

You may also like

Legislative panel approves medical malpractice bill
Read more
Urgent-care centers: Illinois numbers grow as time-pressed families seek low-cost option to ERs
Read more
Global Center for Medical Innovation launches
Read more

Recent Posts

2022 Medical Malpractice Insurance Rates: What the data tells us

VIDEO: Why is an “A”-rated company important when buying medical malpractice insurance?

The difference between claims made and occurrence coverage for doctors.

Popular Posts

2022 Medical Malpractice Insurance Rates: What the data tells us

The difference between claims made and occurrence coverage for doctors.

Global Center for Medical Innovation launches

Start Your Custom Quote Process™

Request a free quote