NYS Med Society Urges Action on Medical Liability Reform

Comments of MSSNY President Michael Rosenberg, MD

ALBANY, NY (06/27/2008; 1238)(readMedia)– Michael Rosenberg, MD, president of the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY), issued the following statement in response to the NYS legislature’s failure to address needed medical liability reform before adjourning. In doing so, he urged legislators to return to Albany to enact meaningful legislation.

“With just four days remaining before the Superintendent of Insurance is set to impose another exorbitant increase to the already unaffordable cost of medical liability insurance, physicians across New York State are urging the State Legislature to return to Albany to take action to prevent a health care access disaster.

The situation facing New York’s physicians is dire. They are caught in an ever tightening squeeze between rapidly rising overhead costs and declining reimbursement. New York physicians are currently struggling with the 14% malpractice insurance increase that was imposed last July, as well as the cumulative 55-80% rise in premium costs over the last five years. At the same time, physicians face ongoing efforts by private and public health insurers to constrain reimbursement, including a draconian 10.6% cut to their Medicare reimbursement, set to be implemented July 1 unless Congress takes action in the next 48 hours to prevent the cut.

Yet despite these problems the Legislature left Albany without taking any action whatsoever to avert the impending disaster. For many physicians, the increase expected to be promulgated next week will be unaffordable; and, consequently, they simply will be unable to practice.

We urge the Governor to reactivate discussions on medical liability reform immediately, and the Legislature to return to Albany to enact legislation to address this crisis before patient access to care is irreparably harmed.”

Founded in 1807, the Medical Society of the State of New York represents physicians, residents and medical students.

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