TorteDeForm

Kia Franklin

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On New York Personal Injury Law Blog, Eric Turkewitz presents cogent and thoughtful commentary on the medical malpractice debate.

Also for a play by play of last week's medical malpractice and tort "reform" activities in Albany, visit thepoptort.com.

Kia Franklin: Author Bio | Other Posts
Posted at 11:36 AM, Mar 10, 2008 in Debunking Tort "Reform" | Medical Malpractice
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Comments

Here is a simple question in regards to medical malpractice concerns. How much do you think a doctor should have to pay a year for medical malpractice insurance if the physician has no claims made against him? Pick your specialty.

Posted by: throckmorton | March 12, 2008 8:34 AM

That's an excellent and fair question, but I think we'd be better off asking the insurance industry that charges doctors these premiums. Just as people get lower rates for car insurance if they don't crash their car over and over, I think there's some sense to making malpracticing doctors pay more for insurance than the vast majority of doctors with clean records.

The medical profession should have that conversation internally too, and organize and ask the industry to deliver fairness to doctors instead of lies about why their being overcharged.

Why is it that in states that have tort deform doctors are still being overcharged? It's because insurance industry execs have been saying for years that tort deform won't change doctors' insurance premiums. So why the attention to tort deform, then, if reducing unfairly high premiums is the goal?

Doctors who think lawsuits affect their premiums should also ask the medical disciplinary bodies why the very few doctors who are responsible for a larger proportion of malpractice claims get to keep practicing with little personal or financial consequence.

Posted by: Kia | March 12, 2008 5:49 PM

I think the question is important. If we say that the insurance companies are charging too much, we have to ask how much is too much? This is true for legal malpractice as well. It is easy to jump and blame a nameless corporation or industry but lets take on the matter. How much is right?

When we look at mutuals that are owned by physicians the amounts are only slightly less than than private firms. Are the physicians overcharging themselves? I doubt it, that is the basis of mutual firms. So again, how much are you willing to pay, we will then see just what that will pay for.

Lets look at legal malpractice insurance, how much are you willing to pay for that? If an attorney botches a medmal case, do they carry the same amount of insurance as the physician? After all, if it is a million dollar case and they error or there is a perception of error, shouldn't they carry insurance to cover the total loss for their clients? So again, what is the fair price of the insurance?

Lets pick a fair price and lets debate the outcomes.


How much does an attorney pay for malpractice

Posted by: throckmorton | March 12, 2008 9:52 PM