Medical malpractice rates continue climb

Fairfield County Business Journal
Monday, August 15, 2005

Who's to blame for rising medical malpractice insurance rates? Is it lawyers, insurers or doctors? While the answer depends on who is asked, rates continue to skyrocket at the state's three major insurers.
Since 1998, malpractice premiums at Connecticut Medical Insurance Co., Glastonbury, soared by 110 percent for physicians and surgeons.
From 2002 to 2004, GE Medical Protective's rates jumped by 167 percent and the rates for another insurer, ProSelect Insurance Co., a subsidiary of ProMutual Group in Boston, climbed by 68 percent from 2001 to 2004. Company spokesman Jim Rugh refused to comment.
The high costs captured the attention of state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal recently. Citing a report issued by theCenter For Justice & Democracy, Blumenthal indicated that premiums rose disproportionately at 213 percent compared to malpractice claims paid which decreased by 1.6 percent from 2000 to 2004.
"These numbers tell a powerful story about who should bear the blame for the astounding and alarming medical malpractice insurance costs, the insurers themselves," Blumenthal said.
Ernie Teitell, president of the Connecticut Trial lawyers Association in Hartford, points back to insurers. "Insurance companies should be held accountable for high rates, not the victims seeking rewards. They (insurers) are experiencing huge profits," Teitell said.
For a copy of the complete article, contact CJ&D

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