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Michigan State Medical Society Says Rate Drop Shows Tort Reform is Working
Date:11/20/2007

DETROIT, Nov. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A clear indication that Michigan's 1993 tort reforms are working is that the state's largest physician medical malpractice insurer is cutting its premiums by 12 to 25 percent for Wayne County physicians, the Michigan State Medical Society (MSMS) announced today at a news conference in Detroit.

The average decrease for all physicians in Wayne County will be 13 percent beginning January 1, according to American Physicians Assurance Corporation, a medical liability insurer based in East Lansing that is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the publicly held American Physicians Capital, Inc. (APCapital).

Statewide, American Physicians' malpractice insurance rates will be reduced by an average of 6.5 percent in 2008.

"Michigan's carefully designed tort reforms do not deny a truly injured patient from just compensation," said Sophie J. Womack, MD, a Detroit neonatalogist who serves as president of the Wayne County Medical Society of Southeast Michigan and as a member of the MSMS board of directors. "The reforms have helped reduce the 'lottery mentality' of each mal-occurrence, or bad outcome, from becoming a lawsuit."

"Let me put this in perspective," said Robert J. Jackson, MD, an Allen Park family physician and a member of the American Physicians Advisory Board. "Rates for my specialty, family practice, will go down 14 percent. Nothing in the overhead costs of my practice is going down, except, unbelievably, the cost of my malpractice insurance.

"If this isn't evidence that Michigan's tort reforms are working, I don't know what is," Doctor Jackson said.

Doctor Jackson said that obstetricians will see a 14 percent reduction and orthopedic surgeons will see a 25 percent reduction.

"Even neurosurgeons, who perform very high risk procedures, will see a 12 percent cut," Doctor Jackson said.

Since the tort reforms went into effect in 1994, each component of the legislation has wi
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SOURCE Michigan State Medical Society
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