Women's health-care crisis looms; Rising malpractice premiums may force some doctors to stop delivering babies

Dayton Daily News
Sunday, June 23, 2002

Miami Valley physicians say rising malpractice premiums soon will force some to make a hard decision - whether to continue delivering babies.

More than 70 obstetricians, gynecologists and midwives who practice in the greater Dayton area said they fear access to health care for women of the Miami Valley could reach a crisis within a year. The doctors have formed a political action committee called Physicians Concerned for the Future of Women's Health Care of Ohio to appeal to the public to push for litigation reform.

"I have never seen such a unanimous voice among all the obstetricians and gynecologists in the Dayton area," Dr. Steven Killian said. "We're standing toe-to-toe on this one. We're fearful of the future." Seasoned physicians are considering early retirement while young doctors are leaving Ohio for other states because of increasing malpractice insurance costs and decreasing health insurance reimbursement fees, Killian said.

But while the doctors urge legislators to limit malpractice liability damages, consumer groups cite considerable evidence that regulating those who sue them instead of those who insure them won't necessarily control premium costs.

Ohio is typical of what Center for Justice & Democracy executive director Joanne Doroshow called minimal regulation of malpractice insurance. "Insurers have the ability to threaten states by saying they won't bring rates down or companies will leave the state," she said.

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