CONTACT: Joanne Doroshow 212/267-2801
J. Robert Hunter 703/528-0062
NEW STUDY SHOWS AVERAGE MEDICAL
MALPRACTICE PAYOUTS ONLY ,000; VIRTUALLY
UNCHANGED IN 10 YEARS
In an astonishing refutation of insurance company claims that medical malpractice verdicts are "exploding" and forcing dramatic rates increases, a new analysis shows that insurance companies are paying victims of medical negligence on average only ,607.03. This is only slightly more than the average payout was a decade earlier -- ,093.31. Moreover, medical malpractice costs, as a percentage of national health care expenditures, are at an all time low, 0.55 percent.
The analysis, conducted for the Center for Justice & Democracy (CJ&D) by actuary J. Robert Hunter, Director of Insurance for the Consumer Federation of America, examined year 2000 insurance data, the most recent available from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and A.M. Best and Co. Hunter, former Texas Insurance Commissioner and Federal Insurance Administrator, also cites Best's Review, which notes that medical malpractice is the eighth leading cause of death in the United States, killing more people than breast cancer, AIDS and traffic deaths. He concludes, "Medical malpractice insurance is amazing value, considering that it covers all medical injuries for about one-half of one percent of health system costs."
According to CJ&D Executive Director Joanne Doroshow, "Some recent reports are warning of an impending nationwide medical malpractice insurance crisis. Insurance companies are blaming judges and juries for the decision to make insurance unaffordable for doctors. This is a bogus public relations scam intended to pressure lawmakers to unfairly limit the rights of injured Americans to take negligent doctors to court. As Best's Review points out, several factors having nothing to do with lawsuits are to blame for possible rates increases nationwide, including earlier underpricing by insurance companies, rapidly changing consumer markets and the nation's conversion to managed care."
Copies of the study can be obtained from CJ&D at 212/267-2801 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Center for Justice and Democracy
P.O. Box 3326 Church Street Station
New York, New York 10008-3326