(Are these lies?) Medical Malpractice Crisis Hurting Doctor Recruiting in Ohio
The message below is surely frightening. Doctors claiming that malpractice insurance is too costly, so they have to quit their trade; even so that babies have to come out without the assistance of medical care!
I find this message offensive. I particularly find it offensive in this atmosphere of fear that is coming out of our leaders.
If malpractice insurance is too high, why not ask the insurance companies why they are charging so much? If the doctors have to pay high premiums because the anti-trust laws dont apply to insurance companies (see http://www.badfaithinsurance.org ), why not insist that Congress change the laws?
What do you think? Should insruance companies be allowed to scare people?
Subject:Medical Malpractice Crisis Hurting Doctor Recruiting in Ohio
Date:6/29/2004 4:06:22 PM Eastern Standard Time
Sent from the Internet (Details)
For Immediate Release: Tuesday, June 29, 2004
Medical Malpractice Crisis Hurting Doctor Recruiting in Ohio
COLUMBUS — Patients in southeastern and northeastern Ohio are feeling the impact of the medical malpractice crisis according to several doctors who testified before the Ohio Medical Malpractice Commission yesterday at the Ohio Department of Insurance. Additionally, recruitment and retention efforts at some independent and university hospitals in those regions are suffering, as new doctors leave Ohio for more favorable medical liability premiums in other states.
“It is clear that recruitment and retention efforts are being impacted by the medical malpractice crisis in Ohio,” said Medical Malpractice Commission Chair and Ohio Insurance Director Ann Womer Benjamin. “Access to care may also be impacted in some specialties in certain geographic locations in the state, which the Medical Malpractice Commission will continue to investigate.”
Statistics cited in testimony before the Commission showed that certain specialties, including obstetrician-gynecologists, have been hit particularly hard by the crisis. According to Dr. John A. Brose, dean of Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine, all five family physicians stopped delivering babies, one gynecologist left and two out of the three remaining surgeons in the Athens community in southeastern Ohio left since last year. Additionally, Brose testified that surgery for Medicaid patients is unavailable in the area for non-emergent care.
Dr. James Dougherty, head of the Medical Education Department at Akron General Hospital, testified that his hospital and other Akron-area hospitals are not only finding it difficult to recruit new doctors to practice in northeast Ohio, but retaining resident physicians is increasingly a challenge. According to Dougherty, only 43 percent (27 percent for Akron General) of residents now stay in northeast Ohio to practice medicine where 63 percent stayed in the area in 2002.
“Doctors are leaving Ohio because of soaring medical liability premiums,” Womer Benjamin said. “The Department of Insurance is documenting their exodus, and we are aggressively investigating ways to stem the generational impact of the crisis. Our investigation of states with stable medical liability markets has revealed that tort reform coupled with other measures like a patient compensation fund have produced markets with average premiums that are about half of what doctors in certain high-risk specialties are paying in Ohio.”
The Ohio Medical Malpractice Commission was created under Senate Bill 281 of the 124th General Assembly, the law that established caps on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases. The Commission’s statement of purpose is to provide available, affordable, and stable medical liability coverage for the Ohio medical community while providing for patient safety and redress for those who are negligently harmed.
The Ohio Department of Insurance is committed to providing consumer protection through fair but vigilant regulation while promoting a competitive environment for insurers. The Department regulates and licenses approximately 1,800 insurance companies, nearly 182,000 agents, and more than 13,000 insurance agencies, and monitors the financial solvency of the insurance industry in Ohio.
Ohio Department of Insurance Contacts:
Mike Fulwider, Communications Director
Robert Denhard, Communications Manager
Patrick Harris, Public Information Officer
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