Pennsylvania High Court Overturns Malpractice Fund Ruling

By PETER JACKSON | March 2, 2012

Pennsylvania’s highest court is handing the Corbett administration a major victory in a dispute over a malpractice insurance fund.

The state Supreme Court’s Wednesday decision overturned a Commonwealth Court ruling ordering the state to transfer hundreds of millions from its general fund to resolve lawsuits filed by doctors and hospitals.

The ruling involves a state program, financed by assessments on health-care providers, that covers damages exceeding their basic malpractice coverage.

Lawmakers created a separate fund containing tax revenues to help finance the program between 2003 and 2007. Not all the money was needed and more than $700 million was transferred to help balance the state budget in 2009.

The provider groups said the money should have gone back into the malpractice fund. The justices ruled there is no such requirement.

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