Searching For New York’s Medical Malpractice Crisis
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Remember the regular hand wringing about New York’s medical malpractice “crisis”? Doctors were said to be leaving the state in droves. OB/GYNs were dropping the OB. Neurosurgeons were retiring early. Hospitals and medical liability insurance companies in the state suggested they were close to bankruptcy…all because of the dreaded plaintiff’s lawyers and the “jackpot justice” they achieved for clients who were never really victims of medical negligence, but of unfortunate “complications” (such as operating on the wrong limb).
As it turns out, New York has been and remains a very physician-friendly state, and this has been reaffirmed by the latest news from Albany. After two years of medical liability insurance rates remaining frozen in place, the new rates just announced by the state’s insurance commissioner amount to a 5% increase for most physicians.
And yet, Superintendent of Insurance James Wrynn concludes his delivery of the good news with even more fear mongering. Yes, according to Mr. Wrynn, we are still in the midst of a “crisis” from which his leadership will extricate us (read to the end of the press release).
So, two years with no increases, followed by this year’s 5% increase, is indicative of a “crisis”? I’d like to suggest that the only “crisis” taking place in this subject area is the one that involves the credibility of our state’s insurance executives. It would be nice if that received some attention in the press.