View Full Version : Malpractice Insurance
10-27-2003, 05:35 PM
I have always been interested in OB/GYN. However, in the city where I live, Malpratctice insurance rates are threatening the availabilty , and career of many OBs. I would hate to shy away from this field due to this factor.I know several docs who 1. left the area or ceased to practice OB.
So far, I am holding steady to my first choice, hoping that by the time I finish things will have improved.
I am wondering how many students are faced with this issue?
11-05-2003, 09:55 AM
This was the main obstacle I faced in finalyzing my decision to go into obgyn. Hours were not a problem for me, but the fear of forking over a large chunk of my hard-earned salary for insurance was.
There's a lot of problem w/ the malpractice insurance and Obgyns face one of the highest rates. IT SUCKS. Some states have caps on the so-called "pain and suffering awards" so that helps keep the rates lower than they would be otherwise. And Pres Bush attempted to pass similar reforms in Congress, but the House shot it down (boooooooo).
But ultimately, I held firm to my decision because I LOVED the specialty. Plus, I wouldn't mind leaving the ob portion out.
11-05-2003, 02:35 PM
i often hear about ob/gyn having insane malpractice premiums and doctors not being able to afford to maintain their proctice.
but then in salary surveys i have seen, ob/gyn docs seem to take home >$200,000 on average. so what gives? i wouldn't be coplaining if i took home that much.
11-05-2003, 06:12 PM
These surveys only show what they're making, not the actual amount they're taking home. Malpractice in some states can be as high as 6 figures. Go figure.
11-08-2003, 05:07 AM
The latest statistics on the malpractice situation are listed at:
Scroll down near the bottom of the page to see the actual rates.
Keep in mind that after paying your malpractice premiums, you still have to pay your office staff, your school loans, your business loans (which helped you get your practice up and running), your car loans, your rent/mortgage, your family expenses, etc, etc...
And there is always the risk that you will get sued beyond the limit of your insurance policy and LOSE. :scared:
Breathe, Heathcliff, breathe...
11-08-2003, 09:40 PM
I had a look at that article and am shocked, SHOCKED at the rates for OB/GYN's and Surgeons in Florida and some of the other higher rate states.
Look at florida, in particular. How can a Dade County (miami) OB/GYN afford to stay in business when malpractice rates are $250,000 a year? I was under the impression that that was about all an OB/GYN in most parts of the country make. Are Florida OB/GYN's compensated better than thier counterparts in the rest of the country?
11-08-2003, 09:52 PM
I think a net gain of $1.00 per year is commensurate to the 8 ball breaking years of medical training it takes to be a OB/GYN. After all you are achieving your dream of becomming a doctor, and isn't that what its all about!!
I do believe that things will get better in the malpractice department.
11-09-2003, 09:40 AM
It's RIDICUOUS that the malpractice insurance can be just as much as your entire gross income. We need tort reforms NOW and end to all these frivolous lawsuits driven by greed. Yes, there are legitimate lawsuits, but all the ob's shouldn't have to pay for the mistakes of few negligent doctors. :(
11-10-2003, 09:17 AM
i don't know... that survey i linked to above says its numbers include base salaries, net income or hospital guarantees minus expenses. i had thought malpractice insurance would have been included in the expenses, meaning those numbers would be take home pay.
i would be interested to see take home pay vs. malpractice premiums. the whole situation of how much docs make vs. how much they take home confuses me.
11-10-2003, 12:30 PM
The surveys you read are net incomes. This is what you pay yourself after all of your expenses, including malpractice. You then pay taxes on the net income. For instance, your practice may gross 500K in a year. After paying the bills, your staff, and you insurance, you may have 200K left over. Your "business" then writes you a check for 200K.
This would make sense. Otherwise Ob/Gyns and other surgeons would only be making like 50K per year. That doesn't seem possible when you see that they live in nice houses, drive cars, and pay off their loans.
Doctors still make a lot of money. But yes, you should be severely pissed that you have to fork over that kind of money for insurance, regardless of what your take-home may be. All of this because of some greedy lawyers that figured out how to make a lot of quick money. Suddenly I don't feel so bad about making a good living off treating sick people.
11-10-2003, 07:53 PM
I disagree, GeddyLee.
If the surveys are truly posting net incomes, then:
1. Ob/Gyns are making $500,000 per year, and they are pissed that malpractice premiums are cutting their take home pay in half, or
2. Ob/Gyns have raised their reimbursement rates over the years to keep up with the rising cost of malpractice insurance.
If either one of these things were true, doctors would not be dropping OB from their practices. From the USA Today article,
"Fed-up obstetricians look for a way out" : (http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/healthcare/2002-07-01-malpractice.htm)
"Wilbourn, who has 8,000 patients in his 12-year-old Las Vegas practice, says he's never been sued, but his rates have been going up along with the worst of OB-GYNs. If Wilbourn continued to deliver 200 babies a year, his malpractice insurance premium was scheduled to jump from $56,000 to $108,000 next year.
"Meanwhile, Wilbourn says, reimbursement in Nevada for providing prenatal care and delivering babies hasn't budged from $1,200 a patient in 20 years. "I'd have to borrow money to pay the malpractice," he says. Instead, he stopped taking new pregnant patients May 1."
11-11-2003, 09:27 AM
How do the numbers change for Physicians that work in a hospital group? If they take home $200,000. Does the hospital pay their malpractice or a portion? Does the rest come out of their salary?
I truly hate to get wrapped up in the numbers, but we all want to know if we will ba able to pay ours loans and make a decent living. Depsite the money issue, I still feel pretty good about pursuing this field.
I just hope their is a resolution to this. One thing is for sure, people are not going to stop making babies. Obs will always be needed.