One would be hard pressed to impart actual figures relating to the medical malpractice insurance rates since there is a host of variables which apparently influence the cost of such insurance. It is adequate to say that the outlay has exceeded any expectations from the medical profession. Unfortunately, there appears to be no leveling out of these rates at this time.
The common medical practitioner who is initially purchasing their malpractice insurance is questionably shocked to discover their premiums recurrently rising. This increase in rates is not restricted to any one medical discipline but rather it is a reflection upon the medical industry as a whole. Between the bizarre jury monetary awards and the intensified legal defense costs the medical malpractice insurance market has been forced to repeatedly adjust the medical rates accordingly.
It has been many years now since the physicians have experienced a stable rate in their malpractice insurance and it is likely that they will not see this desperately needed leveling within the near future. Concern has been naturally expressed regarding the incorrigible adverse patient outcomes which symbolize the underlying factor for determining the physicians expected rates. The likelihood is eminent that such adverse reactions to these medical outcomes will ultimately result in legal actions is the major cause of these increased rates.
When a claim is initially submitted there are numerous cost influences which have a propensity to shape the final outcome. These factors stretch from the nature of the grievance, the complete extent from which the provided caretaker is able to be legally defended as well as the compliance of the doctor himself to participate in his own defense. In our society today the irregularity of jury awarded claims has driven settlement costs sky-high and the attitude towards the doctor’s proficiency fosters a legal environment where the liability insurance companies and the policyholder’s would prefer to merely settle the cases out of court.
Additional factors which contribute to these unrealistic rates can embrace the amount of insurance coverage held, the exact number of physicians concerned in the claim and the individual hospitals limits of required coverage.
These combinations of factors have contributed to an 88 percent increase in rates between 1994 and the year 2000. The medical defense costs persist in reaching higher amounts as the attorney fees escalate, expert witness fees become elevated and the general cost of court reports, travel expenses and other related costs rise. Once again a rise is continuously shown from 1994 to 2000 by as much as 39 percent for defense of a claim.
In conclusion, it comes as no surprise that the increase in malpractice insurance rates is a direct result of the escalating costs necessary to resolve and defend against excessive claim amounts. You can readily see that given the particular insurance industry facts it is virtually impossible to predict any sort of future malpractice insurance rate variance. If our current medical jury awards continue as they have been shown we can expect drastic increases in the future as well.