We often hear that the reason doctors have to pay so much in medical malpractice insurance premiums is because of "runaway juries" and "soaring malpractice awards." But a recent study by the New York Public Interest Research Group has established that, in New York at least, nothing could be further from the truth. As recently noted in the New York Times:
The New York Public Interest Research Group reviewed 15 years of federal data on medical malpractice payments and concluded that the amount of money paid for malpractice claims in New York has actually fallen in recent years, and that the number of overall claims has remained “remarkably stable.”
The report went on to state that
“The claim being made by the medical lobby that this is a lawsuit crisis is just fear-mongering,” said Blair Horner, legislative director for the research group. “There obviously must be something else going on or the premiums wouldn’t keep going up. And someone’s got to figure out what that is.”
The report also found that contrary to reports, doctors were not fleeing New York State:
Further, the report’s findings also contradict another claim often made by hospital lobbyists and doctors’ advocates: that high malpractice premiums are driving doctors out of the state. In fact, the report states, the number of doctors practicing in New York has grown at a rate more than five times the rate of growth in the state’s population
Hospital and doctor lobbyists responded by stating that the report is wrong with regard to the number of doctors in New York. But, curiously, they did not address the question of the so-called medical malpractice crisis.
It’s funny what happens when groups such as NYPIRG take the time to study the reality of an issue. Thanks to their work, we know that we need not
Both an Emory School of Law graduate and MBA graduate of Goizueta Business School at Emory, Chris Nace focuses his practice on areas of medical malpractice, drug and product liability, motor vehicle accidents, wrongful death, employment discrimination and other negligence and personal injury matters.