Report Indicates Link Between Legal Losses and Rising Medical Malpractice Insurance Costs
A report issued by the US General Accounting Office showed that Pennsylvania insurers faced a 70% increase in successful medical malpractice claims against doctors and other medical providers between 1998 and 2001. The report surveyed seven states and found that increases vary greatly between states and across medical specialties. While general surgeons in Florida experienced a 75% medical malpractice rate increase between 1999 and 2002, the rates in Minnesota went up only 2% during the same period. Pennsylvania currently does not have caps on the amount of money that can be awarded to victims of medical malpractice for damages such as pain and suffering. The US House of Representatives passed legislation this year that would cap all non-economic jury awards at $250,000. Senate Democrats successfully blocked the bill, pointing out that it would be unfair to victims of medical malpractice who were grievously injured through medical errors.
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