Study Shows Med Mal Rates Holding Steady

Side Note: Being a physician these days is harder than ever. The massive expense of medical school loans, the unpredictability of third-party payers, and health care reform are just a few of the challenges facing physicians today. However, there is one piece of good news: premiums for professional liability insurance are holding steady, and in some cases, even declining.

A new study done by Medical Economics reveals this in its findings. The study was conducted in June 2010 and it surveyed more than 4,000 office-based MDs and Dos from more than 17 different specialties. It showed that med mal insurance premiums remained steady for 37% of physicians and decreased for another 11% of physicians.

There are probably several contributing factors for the lower med mal policy rates. First, the frequency of med mal claims has been dropping for the past several years. Second, it seems that juries have become less inclined to award damages in med mal cases –possibly realizing that doing so contributes to raising health care costs for everyone. This, too, may contribute to med mal lawyers taking fewer med mal cases. And, many practices are incorporating best practices standards which may be contributing to fewer mistakes occurring. Finally, there is greater competition than ever among liability insurance companies. All of this is good news for physicians.

Some of the other notable trends observed in the Medical Economics study were:

Medical liability premiums tend to be higher in the East. This is because there is a higher number of doctors concentrated in the East, along with a higher number of lawyers, creating a more litigious environment.

Med mal premiums can vary widely within a state. This is not a new observation.

Physicians aged 40-54 tend to pay the highest premiums, as they are in the prime of their practice years –doing the most procedures and seeing the most patients –and therefore, taking the most risks.

As physician advocates, we care about what you care about –and low liability rates is one of those things. Therefore, we here at also closely monitor med mal rates, and annually, we publish our Medical Liability Monitor Survey. If you would like another detailed look at insurance premiums, we provide data collected from over the last ten years, which you can view by state, specialty and insurance company.

Are you a physician looking to lower your liability policy premium? If so, complete our no-cost, no-obligation quote form today.

Exclusive malpractice survey: Holding pattern
Malpractice premiums plateau overall but still a crushing burden for many
Nov 19, 2010
By: James F. Sweeney
Source: Medical Economics

Under increasing pressure from third-party payers and facing the uncertainty of healthcare reform, physicians have been able to find some comfort in stable or, in some cases, declining medical liability premiums.

The years-long pattern of plateaued premiums continues, according to Medical Economics’ 2010 Exclusive Survey on malpractice, part of our Continuing Study that also examined earnings (September 24 issue) and productivity (October 22 issue). The survey was administered in June and answered by more than 4,000 office-based MDs and DOs in more than 17 practice areas and specialties.

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