Put Ohio insurers back in spotlight

Caton Repository
Monday, July 11, 2005

Columbus is consumed at the moment with the hundreds of millions of dollars lost in the investment scandal at the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. Meanwhile, hundreds of millions of other dollars are piling up in places that have been out of the public eye for too long — medical malpractice insurers.

We suggest this because a new study finds that the country’s largest medical malpractice insurers have more than doubled what they charge doctors and hospitals since 2000, yet they have paid out only about 6 percent more on claims.

The Center for Justice and Democracy, a consumer group, has looked at the bottom lines of the 15 largest medical malpractice insurers in the United States. Using the companies’ own annual statements, which are filed with state departments of insurance, the center found that the companies raised their net premiums by 120 percent between 2000 and 2004, while their net payments on claims rose by only 5.7 percent.
This raises again the question that most Ohio legislators fiercely resisted studying three years ago: Why have Ohio doctors’ medical malpractice premiums increased so drastically? Doctors and insurers, without benefit of solid evidence, persuaded legislators to blame runaway jury verdicts. As a result, the Legislature capped jury awards for noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases.

Ohioans — and insurance-paying doctors and hospitals — should insist they revisit an expensive old question.
For a copy of the complete article, contact CJ&D

Join Our Fight!

The Center for Justice & Democracy is the only national consumer organization in the country exclusively dedicated to protecting our civil justice system. If you'd like more information, please contact us.

Connect with us