Study: Doctors gouged by insurance premiums

South Dakota's Dakota Voice
Wednesday, July 27, 2005

A new report released today by Americans for Insurance Reform, Measured Costs, finds that insurance companies have been raising doctors' premiums even though expenses related to claims have risen slowly, near medical inflation. The release of this report comes on the heels of another study co-released this month by a coalition of national consumer organizations, Falling Claims and Rising Premiums in the Medical Malpractice Insurance Industry, that reaches similar conclusions.

AIR's report, Measured Costs, is by actuary J. Robert Hunter, director of insurance for the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), former commissioner of insurance for the state of Texas, and former Federal Insurance Administrator under Presidents Carter and Ford. Hunter is also a co-founder of AIR.
According to Hunter, "The change in medical malpractice loss costs over the last 10 years shows the same pattern as paid losses, year after year rising near the level of medical inflation. There is no justification for the sudden spike in rates that American physicians have endured, other than the lack of competition that occurs during the insurance industry's periodic hard market episodes."
Joanne Doroshow, executive director of the Center for Justice & Democracy and AIR co-founder, said, "This study has, once again, definitively exposed the campaign to restrict patients' rights for what it is -- an insidious public relations scam that has had terrible consequences for many innocent people, while doing nothing to improve the affordability or availability of liability insurance for doctors," Doroshow added.

For a copy of the complete article, contact CJ&D

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