AMA visits Oregon to push for reforms

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted March 21, 2005

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Legislative reforms in Oregon can help ease problems of access to care and stabilize medical liability insurance premiums, AMA Immediate Past President Donald J. Palmisano, MD, recently told the Oregon State Senate Judiciary Committee.

Dr. Palmisano paid a visit to Oregon Feb. 28 for an AMA National House Call event. The event included testimony before legislators and participation in the Oregon Medical Assn.'s Day at the Capitol. Oregon is one of 20 states the AMA lists as being in the midst of a medical liability insurance crisis. In those states, physicians have been forced to retire early, relocate to another state or restrict services.

"In Oregon and other crisis states, physicians are forced to make these difficult decisions because of escalating jury awards and settlements, which cause physicians' insurance premiums to skyrocket," Dr. Palmisano told legislators. "The good news is that there are proven examples of long-term reforms that have kept physicians' liability premiums stable -- and more importantly, protected patients' access to care."

The Day at the Capitol event drew more than 50 physicians as well as members of the Oregon Medical Assn. Alliance and medical students from across the state.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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