Insurers Dupe Florida Doctors

Representing Orlando, Tampa, Miami and Nearby Areas of Florida

Florida doctors who often complain about the expense of medical malpractice insurance actually had an average claims payment significantly below the national average last year according to new data from the Kaiser Family Foundation. The average payment in Florida was $ 241,800, well below the national average of $ 308,600. Payments in 33 states were higher than Florida. Illinois’ $ 629,100 was the highest. View the full report for all the details.

The data comes from the National Practitioner Data Bank, a federal registry of medical malpractice claims paid on behalf of physicians and other health care providers. Insurance companies paid a total of $ 198.7 million arising from 822 claims in Florida last year. That is 14.6 claims per 1,000 doctors. Hardly a “litigation crisis.”

 

These numbers come as no surprise to CGWC attorney, Ron Gilbert. The cap imposed the Florida Legislature in 2003 on damages in medical malpractice cases has reduced the potential exposure of doctors and insurance companies to verdicts hight enough to truly compensate victims of medical negligence. Naturally, the amount of the average claims payment will decrease when the potential outcome is limited by law.

This report would suggest that doctors’ insurance premiums should be lower. But that hasn’t happened. And it is unlikely to happen. Mr. Gilbert believes that the record profits of medical malpractice insurers should be investigated. The insurance industry continues to blame the fictional “lawsuit crisis” for high malpractice premiums. The real culprit has been and remains the greed of the medical malpractice insurers who charge exorbitant premiums while the average payment and quantity of medical malpractice claims decrease due to legislated restrictions on the patients’ legal rights.