Thursday, May 11, 2006

Medical Malpractice Study

Wisconsin medical malpractice victims lost out when Gov. Jim Doyle signed the new $750,000 cap on medical malpractice damages. And a new study, “Malpractice Premiums And Physicians’ Income: Perceptions Of A Crisis Conflict With Empirical Evidence,” published in Health Affairs finds as follows according to the Center for Justice & Democracy:

"~ From 1970-2000, premiums increased only slightly. In 2000, premiums were lower than in 1986. From 1986-2000, there was a sizable decline in premiums while other expenses surged.

~ The decrease in premiums as a percentage of total expenses between 1986 and 2000 was attributable to a decline in premiums combined with increased spending for other practice expenses.

~ 'For the specialties, premiums also decreased as a percentage of total expenses from 1986 to 2000—most notably for OB/GYN, for which premiums declined from 20 percent to 13 percent. OB/GYN premiums decreased $487 per year, while total practice expenses increased $5,305 per year.'

~ 'National trends were reflected in the nine regions with slight variations… In no region were premiums as a percentage of total expenses more than three percentage points higher than the national mean during any year.'

~ 'Although premiums rose from 1996 to 2000, practice revenue declined nationally and for specialties (except for OB/GYN). It was revenue decline and increases in nonpremium expenses, not premium increases, that account for the overwhelming share of falling income. For OB/ GYN, revenue increased slightly, but income declined because of large increases in practice expenses. However, increases in premiums were less than one-twentieth the size of increases.'

~The average physician income in 2003 was still between the ninety-fifth and ninety-ninth percentiles for all Americans."

Wisconsin Medical Malpractice Attorney