A recent editorial quotes the results of a Florida study that demonstrates that there has not been the dramatic increase in the numbers of malpractice cases represented by the insurance industry and doctors.
The editorial said that “the research showed that while the state’s population climbed by 31.5 percent in this time, med-mal claims paid per 100,000 residents actually fell from a high of 12.36 in 1996 to 9.74 in 2003.”
The editorial goes on to say that “the study found the ‘debate about the role of juries in so-called ‘mega awards’ is misplaced.’ In 14 years, the study identified 801 cases in which more than $1 million was paid. Further, the study said 93 percent of the million-dollar payouts were the result of settlements, not jury awards.”
And this is Florida – allegedly a hotbed of malpractice litigation!!!
If we can ever get the facts, the public – and maybe even the doctors – will understand that the problem with malpractice insurance rates is an insurance industry problem coupled with the dramatic increase in health care costs (which increases the cost of claims because the claims include past and future medical expenses).