Fla. Releases Medical Malpractice Report, Favorable Trend Continues

October 3, 2007

A recent state-sponsored report showed a continuing trend of recovery for the Florida medical malpractice industry – an industry that experienced double-digit rate increases and lack of availability prior to the 2003 legislative reforms.

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation 2007 annual report showed a net decline in medical malpractice rates for the primary market, which includes physicians and surgeons. The state saw a 3.06 percent net decrease of rates for 2006.

“The Florida Legislature has been vigilant in its oversight efforts to control the costs in the medical malpractice insurance industry,” said Commissioner Kevin McCarty. “This report shows that the Florida Legislature’s efforts to control these costs have been effective.”

The annual report compared Florida’s medical malpractice industry financial data to data from the five most populous states: California, Illinois, New York, Texas and Pennsylvania. The report showed that Florida’s loss experience and defense cost and containment expenses are now competitive with states in this peer group.

The report also showed that seven new medical malpractice carriers entered the market in 2006. An analysis of the closed claims data submitted to the OIR’s Professional Liability Claims Reporting system reported 900 closed claims in 2006, which paid an estimated $188.8 million; $138.2 million was paid in economic damages and the remainder in non-economic damages.

Following the 2003 reforms, the OIR developed a “presumed savings factor” of 7.8 percent. The initial reduction was based on the premise that this factor would be revisited at a future date to determine the full impact of the new legislation. The report indicated that enough historical data has now been accumulated to initiate a further study.

Source: Florida Office of Insurance Regulation

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