HARTFORD, Conn., July 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- When Connecticut
state legislators passed a series of medical malpractice insurance and
litigation reforms in 2005 (Public Act 05-275), considerable debate ensued
regarding the cause of skyrocketing insurance premiums paid by doctors.
While convincing evidence supported the view that insurance company profits
and the normal business cycle were the cause of these increased premiums,
Connecticut passed a law designed to address the issue.
Two recent reports make clear that, regardless of the cause, both
doctor's insurance premiums and the number of lawsuits have gone down. A
recent report by the Connecticut State Department of Insurance released in
April 2007, reported that premiums for the top five medical malpractice
insurers as declining by 10% from 2005 to 2006. Last week, the Connecticut
Judicial Branch released its annual assessment of all cases and case types
filed and disposed contains data for the years 1990 through 2007. The
average number of medical malpractice case filed in the six years preceding
the passage of the 2005 reforms was 378. The average number of cases filed
between 2005 and 2007 was 306, after the legislation had passed, with only
288 cases filed during the most recent period 2006-2007.
On June 14, 2005, the Hartford Courant described this measure as taking
"... reasonable steps that should become law." Whether the new law was
necessary or helped address a real problem, these recent reports make clear
that the situation in Connecticut has improved dramatically.
Additional provisions in the 2005 Act directs judges to review jury
awards above $1 million to determine if they are excessive, directs the
Department of Public Health to establish guidelines for disciplining
incompetent doctors and requires the Department of Insurance to approve
rate increases greater than 7.5 percent with a provision allowing for any
affected parties to request a public hearing to challenge the proposed rate
SOURCE Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association