Malpractice system turmoil

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Senate leaders ... promised that skyrocketing malpractice premiums will be addressed with a long-term solution ...

Since 2002, the average payout for medical liability claims has increased from $382,000 to $505,000 in 2008, according to the Medical Society of the State of New York.

In 2008, New York had the highest number of paid claims (1,373) than any other state ...

... Obstetricians have been hardest hit with premiums rising 68 percent between 2002 and 2008. An OB/GYN in the New York City area pays about $170,000 annually, while an upstate obstetrician pays $53,000.

Several task forces have been convened to address the rising premiums, but they failed to find a resolution because of friction between the medical community and trial lawyers ...

Leaders in the medical community want to change the way the legal system works by instituting caps on non-economic jury awards, special courts for malpractice claims, protection of doctors' personal assets, no-fault funds for babies born with neurological impairments, prescreening of lawsuits to eliminate frivolous suits, and legal immunity for doctors who apologize to patients.

... the focus should be on reducing medical errors, improving patient safety and removing bad doctors.

"Seven percent of physicians are responsible for 68 percent of medical malpractice payments" ...

Those doctors should not be eligible for liability insurance and should be denied the privilege of practicing medicine ...

Melissa Maimann, Essential Birth Consulting 0400 418 448