What's Driving Malpractice Premium Fluctuations?

What's Driving Malpractice Premium Fluctuations?
What's Driving Malpractice Premium Fluctuations?

(HealthDay News) — There have been significant fluctuations in medical malpractice premiums, based on doctor's age, location, workload, and practice size, according to a report published November 6 in Medical Economics.

Noting that medical malpractice premiums appeared little changed in 2013 for primary care physicians, the authors examined variations in payment amounts. Considerable fluctuations were noted in payment amount based on doctor's age, location, workload, and practice size.

According to the article, doctors working >90 hours per week reported the biggest increase in medical malpractice premiums (14.8%). Increases of 13 and 9.3% were noted for primary care physicians seeing >200 and 175–199 patients per week, respectively. Substantial increases were also seen for primary care physicians in larger practices, with a 19.3% increase for those working in practices with 26–50 physicians, compared with an 11.9% increase for those in practices with ≥50 physicians. Decreases in premiums were reported by younger doctors and those in their first years of practice, with a 20% decrease for physicians <30 years of age.

"Although it's still too early to gauge the impact of the Affordable Care Act on the malpractice insurance market, Jack Meyer [senior vice president for the Doctors Company, a malpractice insurance carrier] expects the influx of new patients the legislation creates to have 'a negative impact' on claims frequency," according to the article.

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