5 things to know about medical malpractice insurance premiums

Practice Management

Inflation outpaces medical malpractice insurance premium increases for some physicians in many regions, according to a Medscape report.

Here are five key notes:


1. Malpractice insurance premium rates have been slowly descending since 2008, and "many physicians" in 23 states are paying less on an inflation-adjusted basis than in 2001. The Medical Liability Monitor reported a year-to-year decrease in premium rates for internal medicine, general surgery and obstetrics/gynecology from 2008 to 2016 except in 2015.


2. Medical malpractice insurance premium rates declined 0.1 percent on average in 2016.


3. Malpractice policy rates with common coverage limits were on average $1 million for individual claims and $3 million for all claims per year. The factors that would adjust a filed rate include:


● Procedure type
● Physician's malpractice track record
● Disciplinary actions from state medical boards
● Risk management activity participation


4. There has been an increase in "jumbo jury verdicts," which award more than $100 million, but those cases still are only around 1 percent of verdicts and settlements.


5. The states where the insurance premiums were behind the 40 percent inflation rate from 2001 to 2016 include: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.


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