Tort Reform Won’t Address Huge Regional Disparities in Malpractice Insurance Fees

Physician groups and health insurers often blame excessive malpractice settlements for the high rates that doctors have to pay to obtain malpractice liability insurance. But a recent analysis indicates that regional differences may play an even more significant role in determining malpractice insurance rates.

According to a recent analysis by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, a BC/BS carrier in upstate New York, medical malpractice premiums for physicians in different regions of the state can vary as much as five times the amount paid, and the difference can exceed $100,000 for some specialties. In particular, malpractice rates for upstate New York physicians are considerably less than those in downstate regions and are similar to the amounts paid by physicians in states that report the lowest premium rates in the country.

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