Pennsylvania Court Sides With Providers on Malpractice Fund

August 13, 2013

A state court is siding with hospitals and doctors in a case involving unspent balances in Pennsylvania’s supplemental medical malpractice insurance fund.

In a five-to-two ruling made public Monday, Commonwealth Court overruled state Insurance Commissioner Michael Consedine and ordered him to recalculate assessments levied on healthcare providers for the years 2009, 2010 and 2011.

At issue is whether state officials should have included accrued balances in the so-called MCare fund when calculating the annual assessments. The state contends that those balances – which totaled $104 million in 2008 – should be excluded from the assessment formula.

But the court concluded that the law clearly intended for such balances to be part of the calculation – resulting in lower assessments on providers.

The department declined to comment on the ruling.

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