Doctor Malpractice Premiums Stopped Raising, But Your Rights Keep Lowering! Kingston Medical Malpractice Lawyer Explains

Medical Malpractice Mistakes

Why Doctor Malpractice Premiums Stopped Raising is Because Your Rights Started Evaporated!

According to an interesting article online in Forbes, there has been a decade-long run of little or no rate increases for physical medical malpractice premiums across the country.  In fact, despite there being two years in a row where medical professional liability companies have taken a business loss, doctor premiums have not increased.  In fact, the Medical Liability Monitor even says that “it really is a great time to be practicing medicine” because of the flat or decreasing premiums.  Part of this is because medical malpractice claims are at a “historic low.” 

The reasons why medical malpractice cases are at a historic low?

Tort reform!

Some of the factors for flat or decreasing premiums is because of medical liability reforms signed into law the last 15 to 20 years.  These reforms have made it harder for injured victims to commence claims against doctors.  And in turn, it has made it harder for victims to recover compensation from insurance companies.

But isn’t it the point to carry insurance to pay for mistakes and errors?  So why is it harder to recover for these things!

Moreover, how many times have you heard that tort reform is necessary because of the staggering amount of medical malpractice claims?  Or that such a large portion of healthcare is paying for medical malpractice?

The system knows this is FALSE.  As that is what the data shows.  But it is also puffery used by the medical liability insurers because, as the Forbes article also notes, that there is simply much more competitive between insurers.  This is in part of the larger influx of medical professionals.  Physician assistant programs have really taken off, and many states have moved from LPNs to nurses with BAs.  DO programs are also gaining more acceptable, and nurse practitioners are a great combination of a step above a nurse but below a physician assistant.  This means that more and more professionals are entering the system to help “spread the risk” for medical liability insurance companies.

This also means that more specialization is occurring and getting more qualified candidates.  No one will argue with you that a nurse with a BA is better trained and educated than a nurse with an LPN, except maybe that LPN.  Or an LPN with decades of experience against a new nurse with a BA.  

But this change also means there is LESS medical malpractice cases because staffing is more competent and educated.  This is a GOOD thing for a patient, in that the threat of a medical malpractice lawsuit has forced better healthcare practitioners and better healthcare practices.  

Yet, when there is a victim of medical malpractice, shouldn’t that person be equally protected from the harm?  Just because there are less causes then there were 15 or 20 years ago, does that mean that medical malpractice victims’ rights are worth less?  Coupled with the fact that medical malpractice premiums have been flat or DECREASING, just shows that when Lavern’s Law was passed in New York last year and the main opposition was “raising healthcare costs are astronomical levels” that this was hyperbole used to employ fear to get Lavern’s Law voted down.  It didn’t work, thankfully, and cancer victim rights are protected.  Now we need to ensure that other victims of New York medical malpractice are also well protected.