Saturday, August 30, 2008

NY: Gov. Paterson Suspends Increases in Med Mal Premiums

From the Kaiser Network:

New York: Gov. David Paterson (D) on Friday enacted a one-year moratorium on medical malpractice insurance rate increases, the New York Post reports. The moratorium, which will last until June 2009, could halt increases of up to 30% according to the state Insurance Department. According to the Post, New York physicians currently have the highest malpractice premiums in the U.S. Donna Montalto, executive director of New York's American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said, "We've been lobbying for years and years to get doctors some kind of reform. This year, because doctors are leaving the state because it's getting out of hand, they addressed it." According to Montalto, premiums result in the loss of about 30 obstetricians annually. The Post reports that obstetricians, who pay some of the highest premiums, have rates in New York City ranging from $129,851 to $154,027 annually. Michael Rosenberg, president of the Medical Society of the State of New York said, "The imposition of a premium increase at this time could have destabilized our health care delivery system to the serious detriment of our patients" (Bennett, New York Post, 8/23).

--CJR

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