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Recently, Congressional Republicans and organized medicine have been pushing the premise of a medical malpractice insurance crisis. The reasoning for this push is the desire to cap noneconomic damages in medical liability lawsuits and to create tougher tort reform for medical malpractice claims. However, there currently is no medical malpractice insurance crisis that requires tort reform from the U.S. Congress.
In a survey released in the beginning of October by the Medical Liability Monitor (MLM), findings show that the insurance market is stable and premiums are not increasing. In fact, insurance premiums have steadily trailed inflation for many doctors, with some paying less in adjusted dollars than they did in 2001.
According to Paul Greve, executive vice president of the healthcare division of Willis Towers Watson and medical liability expert, medical malpractice claims remain “relatively flat and near historic lows” in the insurance market. Greve, who coauthored the MLM study, acknowledged a few things that have kept these premiums low, including:
- Patient safety programs
- State-level tort reforms
- Hospitals and large practices that hire more physicians, causing medical malpractice carriers to reduce their rates
The three medical specialties that were studied in this survey included general surgery, general internal medicine, and obstetrics-gynecology.
“I like to emphasize the difference between the reality of a ‘medical malpractice crisis’ and the contrived notion of a ‘medical malpractice insurance crisis,’ Ronald S. Gilbert, founder and practice partner of Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter, said. He goes on to say that while occurrences of medical malpractice continue to be a considerable cause of morbidity and mortality, tort reform actions will do little to lessen the occurrence of medical malpractice.
According to Gilbert, tort reform for medical malpractice claims would actually negatively affect the rights of the victims of medical malpractice. This is because the reforms would either cap damages victims could sue for or even remove the ability to pursue the compensation they deserve at all. So while tort reform would do nothing in the way of stopping or limiting medical malpractice incidences it would also make it more difficult for a victim of medical malpractice to seek civil remedies for their pain and suffering.
The best remedy is for physicians and healthcare professionals to adhere to the appropriate standard of care and to provide the proper actions for accountability to decrease incidences of medical malpractice and negligence.
At the practice of Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter, our experienced lawyers understand the complexities of medical malpractice claims and how to pursue the compensation you need in the event you suffer injury or illness while seeking medical care. If you would like to schedule a consultation with us, please call 407-712-7300 for aggressive and effective representation. Your initial consultation is free. We proudly serve those who live in Orlando, as well as the Four Corners, Tampa, and other nearby areas of Florida.