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Discussion in 'General Residency Issues' started by apellous, May 5, 2004.
Just curious to which state are the best and which ones to stay away from?
last i heard texas and florida were soaring. but, its everywhere! the tort reform bills are failing too. the mess continues! stay tuned and fingers crossed something good will happen SOON!
Pennsylvania = BAD
MO, IL, AR, CT, FL, GA, KY, MS, NJ, NV, NY, NC, OH, OR, PA, TX, WA, WV.
I've heard that Indiana is doing ok. I've been told by reputable sources that they have a review board to review all malpractice cases. The lawyers are still able to bring suit even if the review board finds no merit in the case, but they are usually unlikely to succeed.
I'm in Ohio, and my doc's insurance went from $6k/year to $30K with no suits. There is a large number of physicians leaving practice because the rates have become astronomical. One OB left when his insurance went from $60K to over $200K.
FL is great for Emergency Medicine, and is actually a pioneer this past year in tort reform. EM physicians have a $150,000 non piercable "hard" cap on malpractice. Other physicians have, I believe, a $500,000 "soft" cap on malpractice. This was passed about 8 months ago. Woo-hoo!
I just finished med school at IU, and talking to attendings, they uniformly think Indiana is super-friendly toward docs when it comes to malpractice. Hard cap on damages and a review board of 3 docs (all agreed upon by both plaintiff and defendent beforehand) that review all cases. The review board's decision isn't binding, but if they decide there's no case for malpractice, then the case is pretty much dead.
There's a U.S. map on the AMA site that will give you a great visual of the medical liability crisis:
Warning: it's depressing!
That map is almost a year old, however, and I know for a fact that Oklahoma, at least, is now experiencing a definite crisis in liability insurance rates. Something needs to be done ASAP, or we're going to find ourselves with a HUGE physician shortage in the near future. Like Dr. Smurf said, it's all about tort reform.
How about forcing the insurance companies to open their books and prove that their rates are justified? Do you believe that they are losing money? I think any time there's an industry-wide hike in prices/rates you have to consider price gouging, and insurance companies would be at the top of my list when it comes to greed.
Without addressing medical malpractice insurance companies, true relief will never come.
There is credible evidence of malpractice premiums continuing to skyrocket in some areas that have TORT reform in place. All signs point to insurance companies trying to make up for huge stock market losses in recent years. How else can you explain them continually raising rates despite evidence of lower jury awards in those areas?
The reason true reform may never come is purely political. The Democrats, supported by trial lawyers, are against TORT reform and in favor of insurance regulation. The Republicans, supported by insurance companies, are in favor of TORT reform and against insurance regulation. Neither party is going to compromise and "bite the hand that feeds them." In Missouri, governor Bob Holden has vetoed the Republican TORT reform bill twice in the last two years. His reason: the bill did not include insurance regulation. I'm sure there is an example of a Republican governor somewhere that has vetoed an insurance regulation bill because it didn't include TORT reform. And the cycle continues.
The only solution is a combination of TORT reform and malpractice insurance regulation.
One without the other is like peanut butter without jelly.
p.s. And to all those hard-core capitalist conservatives that oppose any kind of insurance regulation, look at the evidence. The laws of supply and demand don't always rule as evidenced in some areas where jury awards are very low and insurance rates continue to grow exponentially. Price gouging can and does occur in a free market society.
And to all those hard-core liberals that oppose any kind of TORT reform, look at the evidence. In some areas jury awards have gotten out of hand. I agree that there is no pricetag for a human life. But if that's the case, why award multi-million dollar lawsuits for punitive damages? There should be no difference between a $100 reward and a $10 million reward because you can't put a pricetag on life. Award enough money to cover legal fees, medical care, etc. But don't try to "put a pricetag on life" by awarding millions in punitive damages. You are defeating your entire argument by doing this.
I'll cite evidence after finals and boards are over.
Here's a site from a non-profit, but it regrettably doesn't offer any sources to back up the info cited in the artice:
Lawyers are scum? Insurance companies are just as bad!