PIAA Takes Stand Against Hunter’s Med-Mal Claims

November 1, 2004

Actuary J. Robert Hunter has reportedly published another bogus analysis of the medical malpractice insurance industry, once again using one of his front groups, Americans for Insurance Reform (AIR), as the messenger.

Medical Malpractice Insurance: Stable Losses/Unstable Rates 2003 reportedly contains the same gross fabrications as Hunter’s
2002 report bearing the same title. The Physician Insurers Association of America (PIAA), the trade association of medical liability insurers owned and/or operated by doctors and hospitals, responded Monday by releasing a new report which reportedly categorically refutes the claims made by Hunter. The PIAA report was made available on the group’s Web site (http://www.piaa.us).

“It never ceases to amaze me how drastically some groups will distort data to align with their perceptions,” said Lawrence Smarr, president of the PIAA. “What has ceased to surprise me are the same debunked assertions made by Mr. Hunter, time and time again.”

According to PIAA, In his study, Hunter takes valid data from credible sources and wildly misconstrues them to serve his agenda. Among other things Hunter reportedly: 1) improperly calculates inflated direct premiums written and direct losses paid on a per doctor basis; 2) relies on work published by Weiss Ratings, which was discredited by its own data sources after its last report; and, 3) magically asserts that there is “no correlation between ‘tort reform’ and insurance rates.”

The PIAA evaluated claims made in the report and refuted them with
reportedly established and publicly available reports by such organizations as the Government Accountability Office, Congressional Budget Office, National Association of Insurance Commissioners, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the American Academy of Actuaries.

“His denial of the overwhelming data supporting the effectiveness of
proven medical liability reforms, such as those enacted in Texas and
California, and their effect on stabilizing malpractice insurance rates,
clearly shows that Bob Hunter stands alone and far detached from the facts surrounding the medical malpractice debate,” said Smarr.

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