AMA to Campaign for Tort Reform to Help Reduce Cost of Medical Malpractice Insurance Premiums
The American Medical Association announced on Monday that it will begin "stepping up efforts" for tort reform in an attempt to stem the rise in medical malpractice premiums, the AP/Lexington Herald-Leader reports. Officials from the AMA said they would lobby lawmakers and courts in approximately 25 states, as well as run print and broadcast ad campaigns. The efforts come in response to malpractice premiums that have risen 79% in less than 10 years and rising malpractice awards, which now average $3.5 million, the AP/Herald-Leader reports, adding that "large jury verdicts driv[e] up" premiums. Leo Boyle, president of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, called the AMA's efforts "misdirected," adding, "The remedy should be to focus on the problem of malpractice itself, focus on the small number of doctors against whom many claims are lodged. ... [The rise in malpractice premiums] has nothing to do with the court system or the claims system" (AP/Lexington Herald-Leader, 3/12).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.