Your next medical malpractice insurance billing, or the one you may have just received, will show some changes. On the positive side, the Indiana Department of Insurance (IDOI) advised the ISMA that reduced rates have been filed by both ProAssurance and Medical Protective. If insured with these carriers, you can expect an 8 percent reduction, which is already in effect. A press release with more details is anticipated but was not received at presstime for this issue.
In the relatively short tenure of IDOI Commissioner Stephen W. Robertson, physicians have benefitted from his efforts to net doctors better rates on malpractice insurance – once on Patient’s Compensation Fund (PCF) surcharges and now on commercial rates.
And speaking of the PCF
On another note, the balance in the PCF is now at its lowest rate in years. A recent issue of ISMA Reports advised you about the significant payout from the PCF for July – due to settlement of 342 malpractice cases against Mark Weinberger, M.D., of Merrillville.
While it’s fortunate that funds are available to pay the Weinberger plaintiffs, the drop in the fund balance likely will mean an increase in the surcharge rate you pay for the PCF.
The regular July 15 payout was $112,538,070, leaving a balance in the fund of $76,864,202.79. By law, PCF payouts are made twice a year, in January and July. One year ago after the July payout, the fund balance was $168,285,205, which means that the comfortable balance of 2012 has been cut in half. The last time the balance was below the $100,000,000 level was 2006.