PA malpractice suit levels fall

New data released by state officials has shown that Pennsylvania has had a 41 percent drop in medical malpractice suits since early in the decade. Armed with these numbers, Gov. Ed Rendell is now telling the world that efforts to contain medical malpractice claims had borne fruit.

New laws and judicial rule changes were enacted in 2002 in an effort reduce the volume of medmal suits filed in the state. These seem to have led to some changes. For example, in the city of Philadelphia, which had the highest volume of cases, there was a 54 percent decrease in filings since the reforms kicked in. Meanwhile, claims fell to $174 million, down 50 percent from 2003.

One welcome result of the reduction in med mal lawsuit filings has been that insurance premiums for doctors have fallen or remained the same for the last three years. Because of this success in lowering or stabilizing premiums, Rendell has said that he won't seek to renew the state funded medical malpractice insurance subsidy for doctors, a program known as MCARE.

To learn more about medical malpractice in PA:
- read t his Philadelphia Inquirer piece

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