The rise and fall of medical liability premiums

Commentary from other news and opinion sources

Posted Nov. 5, 2012.

Print  |   Email  |   Respond  |   Reprints  |   Like Facebook  |   Share Twitter  |   Tweet Linkedin

Medical liability premiums for physicians have increased and decreased through the years, depending on the insurance market and whether doctors practiced in states with effective tort reforms.

American Medical News has long reported on the changing medical liability climate and how physicians have pursued relief from high rates and frivolous lawsuits through tort reforms, especially noneconomic damages caps. Our coverage of the latest data on premiums shows that rates held steady or decreased in 2012, continuing a recent trend. That's in sharp contrast to the premium hikes of a decade ago, which prompted physicians to explore new ways to stem the tide of rising rates.

Liability premium relief good for doctors, unsettling for insurers

For the fifth year in a row, medical liability insurance premiums fell in 2012, according to the annual report by Medical Liability Monitor. Although that is a positive development for physicians, insurers and industry observers say the soft liability insurance market may change. It is expected to harden in several years, and rates probably will rise again. Read story

Liability insurance rates steadying amid hopeful signs on tort reform

In 2006, spikes in premiums turned into reductions and stable rates, thanks in part to tort reforms. Insurers said the stability also was due to a continued decline in medical liability lawsuits. Even with those improvements, doctors said their premiums were still high. Read story

Liability premium shock is spreading, an AMNews exclusive survey shows

In 2001 and 2004, we examined state data on medical liability insurance rate filings. The analysis found that at least one insurer in 34 states raised rates by 25% or more in 2004, almost double the number of states with such increases in 2001. More doctors said they were factoring liability premiums into their practice decisions. Read story

Physicians try fresh approaches to combat liability premium hikes

After years of being hit with high premiums, some doctors tried different approaches to try to keep rates from skyrocketing. In Connecticut, for example, doctors, trial lawyers and patients wrote to the state's insurance commissioner and asked about the need for a nearly 90% rate increase by one insurer. Medical societies also gave closer scrutiny to insurer requests for rate increases. Read story

Back to top



Read story

Confronting bias against obese patients

Medical educators are starting to raise awareness about how weight-related stigma can impair patient-physician communication and the treatment of obesity. Read story

Read story


American Medical News is ceasing publication after 55 years of serving physicians by keeping them informed of their rapidly changing profession. Read story

Read story

Policing medical practice employees after work

Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it. Read story

Read story

Diabetes prevention: Set on a course for lifestyle change

The YMCA's evidence-based program is helping prediabetic patients eat right, get active and lose weight. Read story

Read story

Medicaid's muddled preventive care picture

The health system reform law promises no-cost coverage of a lengthy list of screenings and other prevention services, but some beneficiaries still might miss out. Read story

Read story

How to get tax breaks for your medical practice

Federal, state and local governments offer doctors incentives because practices are recognized as economic engines. But physicians must know how and where to find them. Read story

Read story

Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future

Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment. Read story

Read story

Physician liability: Your team, your legal risk

When health care team members drop the ball, it's often doctors who end up in court. How can physicians improve such care and avoid risks? Read story

  • Stay informed
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn