Monday, November 21, 2005


A study by Aon Risk Consultants has predicted the frequency of medical malpractice claims in Florida next year will decrease four times faster than the reduction in the national claims rate. By examining trends in claims at hospitals and doctors from 1995 through 2004, Aon forecast Florida's decrease at 4 percent. With 10 percent of the U.S. market examined, Aon predicted a national 1 percent reduction in 2006. That's good news for health care providers in South Florida, where medical malpractice insurance rates are among the highest in the country.

However, Aon said the economic severity of medical malpractice claims will increase 7.5 percent nationally. After years of rapid increases in both the frequency and severity of medical malpractice claims, safety reforms at hospitals are turning that trend around, said Greg Larcher, assistant director and actuary of Aon Risk Consultants. With many hospitals choosing to self-insure because of the high price of medical malpractice insurance, they're taking greater care to prevent medical mistakes, he said.

In Florida, the predicted reduction in the number of claims is greater because of the legislative caps on medical malpractice damages awards instituted in 2003, Larcher said. The effect of the November 2004 constitutional amendments, which included a contingency fee cap for medical malpractice plaintiff attorneys and a "three strikes" law for doctors, weren't included in the Aon study. The participating hospitals made up 20,000 beds, or about 10 percent of the national total, Larcher said. The study is marketed to hospital risk adjusters to set 2006 budgets.



For greatest efficiency, lowest cost and maximum choice, ALL hospitals and health insurance schemes should be privately owned and run -- with government-paid vouchers for the very poor and minimal regulation. Both Australia and Sweden have large private sector health systems with government reimbursement for privately-provided services so can a purely private system with some level of government reimbursement or insurance for the poor be so hard to do?

Comments? Email me here. If there are no recent posts here, the mirror site may be more up to date. My Home Page is here or here.


No comments: