Profession

Pa. extends liability insurance assistance to doctors

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Nov. 20, 2006

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Many Pennsylvania physicians will continue to get help in paying unaffordable medical liability insurance rates after Gov. Edward G. Rendell in October signed legislation to continue the state's abatement program through 2007.

The program, which was set to expire Dec. 31, pays a portion of the premiums that doctors must pay into the state Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error fund. The contribution varies by specialty and ranges from 50% to 100%.

Under the extension, assistance for emergency department doctors will increase from 50% to 100%.

Physicians receive financial help in exchange for committing to practice in the state for one year from the date of their policy renewal. Doctors must apply for the abatement during their policy renewal period during 2007. The financial assistance would apply to 2008 Mcare fund payments.

Pennsylvania doctors praised lawmakers' actions, which they hope will keep physicians practicing in the state and preserve access to care, said Pennsylvania Medical Society President Mark A. Piasio, MD, an orthopedic surgeon in DuBois.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2006/11/20/prbf1120.htm.

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