Staten Island doctors join rally against insurance rates

Staten Island Advance
Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Scores of Staten Island doctors put down their stethoscopes this morning to take up posters and banners.
Rising before dawn, the 150 or so borough physicians trekked 170 miles to Albany to join about 1,500 fellow doctors from around the state. Their goal: To rally against what they say are excessive medical malpractice insurance rates.
The move may have paid off.
After hearing from the governor and the state Insurance Department superintendent, there is hope. They say a possible $50,000 surcharge against them may be off the table.

However, some consumer and patient advocates dismiss such proposals as "non-starters."
"We certainly don't think that insurance problems that doctors may be having should be solved on the backs of patients," said Joanne Doroshow, executive director of the Manhattan-based Center for Justice & Democracy.
Ms. Doroshow said tighter regulation of insurance rates, the insurance industry, and of doctors, themselves, are better solutions.
A recent report showed that 4 percent of the state's 80,000 physicians account for 50 percent of medical malpractice payouts, she said.
"The real crisis is that there's far too many preventable medical errors -- errors that kill and injure thousands of New Yorkers each year," Russ Haven, legislative counsel of the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) said in a statement. "The best way to reduce medical malpractice payouts in New York is by adopting a laser-like focus on preventing medical errors."

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