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Why do Upstate Doctors Pay Less for Medical Malpractice Insurance Than Do Downstate Doctors?


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6/11/2011
Gerry Oginski
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A new study by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield has released a report that pegs liability insurance costs for doctors in the New York City area are 3.5 times the rate that upstate New York doctors pay.

Rochester rates are lowest, at $7 thousand. Most locations upstate are $10 thousand, and the highest rate, in Long Island, rises to $35 thousand. Manhattan was the cheapest of the downstate premiums, at $27 thousand. The figures were culled from Medical Liability Mutual Insurance Company (MLMIC). Did you know that yearly insurance premiums for an Ob/Gyn on Long Island are $188,000? Neurosurgeons and Ob/Gyn's in Metropolitan New York and Long Island pay the highest medical malpractice insurance premiums in the State.

The senior vice president for MLMIC believes the rates are lower upstate because jury awards are generally lower there. Reforms are currently being aimed at lowering malpractice liabilities. Albany recently legislated a fund for infant injuries or wrongful deaths, to compensate the victim's family in lieu of the doctor's compensatory damages. This report by Excellus believes the new law will "significantly lower malpractice premiums."

This news comes on the heels of a report that the Syracuse Veterans Affairs clinics experiences one of the best track records for medical errors among VA clinics in the nation. Hospital officials attribute this to their continual efforts to keep up with changes in patient protection protocol.

The state insurance rates are set by New York's Insurance Department, which divides the state into seven separate rating districts. All data are averages, as medical professionals in different specialties pay different insurance premiums.

If you would like more information about how medical malpractice cases work in the state of New York, I encourage you to explore my educational website. If you have legal questions, pick up the phone and call me at 516-487-8207 or by e-mail at [email protected] to answer your questions. That's what I do every day. I welcome your call.

Category: Medical Malpractice


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