Medical liability premiums increase dramatically for 3rd straight year

Kim DelMonico
Mar 23, 2022
5 Min

Three years in a row. According to a recent analysis by the American Medical Association, that’s how long the percentage of medical professional liability insurance premiums have been increasing.

The American Medical Association released this information in a press release along with a “Policy Research Perspectives” based on data from the “Annual Rate Survey” issue of the Medical Liability Monitor. The survey reported manual premiums for obstetrics/gynecology, general surgery, and internal medicine.

What was the “main and most significant finding” according to the American Medical Association? It’s not just that premiums are increasing. It’s that for three years in a row, from 2019 to 2021, “more premiums have increased than in any year since the 2000s.”

Not surprisingly, this increase in premiums is not shared equally across all of the states. However, states with increasing premiums have had significant hikes, with 12 states experiencing increases of 10% or more.

Where have rates for medical liability insurance coverage increased the most? According to the American Medical Association, the following states reported the largest proportion of premiums that increased 10% or more: “Illinois (58.9%), West Virginia (41.7%), Missouri (29.6%), Oregon (20.0%), South Carolina (16.7%), Idaho (11.1%), Kentucky (7.4%), Delaware (6.7%), Washington (6.7%), Michigan (5.4%), Texas (4.9%), and Georgia (3.7%).”

In addition to geographic differences, the American Medical Association also reported that premiums have not been the same across specialties. It noted that in selected geographic areas, premiums for general surgeons were more than those for internists. For example, in Nassau County, New York, premiums for internists were $32,159 while premiums for general surgeons were $146,353. This difference was even more significant in other areas like Cook County, Illinois.

American Medical Association President Gerald E. Harmon, M.D. commented on the increasing premiums, stating, “The medical liability insurance cycle is in a period of increasing premiums, compounding the economic woes for medical practices that struggled during the past two years of the pandemic.”

Dr. Harmon continued, “The increase in premiums can force physicians to close their practices or drop vital services. This is detrimental to patients as higher medical costs can lead to reduced access to care.”

Robin’s perspective

Premium increases are just one of the economic pressures impacting orthopedic practices. However, practices using Robin are actually seeing improvements to their bottom line.

With Robin, practices receive more complete clinical documentation, thanks to the Robin Assistant™, a virtual medical assistant device that ambiently captures all the audio and video from patient visits.

Our virtual medical scribes use this complete data from the exam room to deliver medical notes and codes that are more accurate, which results in more accurate reimbursement for the practices we work with.

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