Printer Friendly

HB 5435 WOULD MEAN DOUBLE-DIGIT PREMIUM CUTS, MICHIGAN LIABILITY WRITERS PLEDGE

 HB 5435 WOULD MEAN DOUBLE-DIGIT PREMIUM CUTS,
 MICHIGAN LIABILITY WRITERS PLEDGE
 LANSING, Mich., May 21 /PRNewswire/ -- The following was released today by the Michigan State Medical Society:
 Passage of Michigan House Bill 5435 into law would help protect accessible and affordable health care by resulting in double-digit liability premium cuts for hospitals and physicians who currently pay among the highest rates in the nation.
 The state's three major medical liability insurance companies have independently told the Michigan Medical Liability Reform Coalition that they could pass along rate savings of roughly 20 percent if the Legislature passes the bill and the courts uphold it. Such savings would enable health-care providers to shift millions of dollars from insurance premiums to care for patients.
 "Effective tort reform will directly affect our costs and therefore our premiums as we pass lower costs on to hospitals," said F. Karl Neumann, president and CEO of the Michigan Hospital Association Insurance Company (MHAIC).
 MHAIC pledged rate reductions of up to 25 percent if the bill passes and survives a likely court challenge from the trial bar.
 "We will commit to a 20- to 25-percent rate reduction based on enactment of all reforms contained in House Bill 5435," Neumann said. "We make this commitment because this legislation is the only proposal pending that would truly help control the runaway costs that have cast our liability system into crisis.
 "We need action on this bill now. It is a mystery why the Democrats who control the House will not pass a bill that is almost to the letter patterned after reforms drafted and passed by a Democratic-led Legislature in California."
 HB 5435 is sponsored by 61 members of the House, including 16 Democrats.
 In metro Detroit, liability insurance rates paid by hospitals average $7,812 per bed -- highest in the nation -- compared to $2,179 in San Francisco, $2,467 in Cleveland, $4,487 in Los Angeles, and $3,426 in New York. The national average is $1,332 per bed. In addition, under Michigan's current system, just 37 cents of every liability dollar in the state goes to patients -- most of what's left goes to attorney and other legal costs.
 Physicians Insurance Company of Michigan (PICOM) echoed MHAIC's pledge to reduce liability rates if House Bill 5435 becomes law and, as expected, survives court review.
 "Will House Bill 5435 make a difference in the cost of medical liability insurance in Michigan? Yes, it will," said PICOM President Victor Adamo. "This will go a long way toward establishing a reasonable liability climate with reasonable rates in Michigan. It will end a system that punishes and drives away the best physicians in high-risk specialities, jeopardizing care for the citizens of Michigan, especially the indigent."
 PICOM said passage of the bill into law will reduce losses. As a result, the company's rates could be reduced about 20 percent.
 Michigan Physicians Mutual Liability Company (MPMLC) also predicted rate reductions in the 20-percent range. A 1990 study conducted for the state by Lewin shows that Michigan doctors and hospitals pay $500 million each year in liability costs. A 20-percent savings would mean $100 million annually in reduced health care costs.
 "We believe the reforms proposed in House Bill 5435 will help make the costs of liability insurance stable, more predictable and more in line with equivalent insurance in surrounding states," said Paul Stuhmer, MPMLC vice president for research and development. "Reducing or eliminating runaway verdicts and settlements will help achieve these goals. The whole package must be passed intact to achieve these benefits."
 Neumann, Adamo and Stuhmer said the liability proposals unveiled in a new draft report from House Democrats fall far short of the reforms in House Bill 5435. They called on the House to pass HB 5435 -- based on California's medical liability reforms -- before the summer re-election process. They are encouraged that Speaker Lewis Dodak has pledged that a medical liability reform bill will be on the House floor for consideration by June 1.
 "We are stating unequivocally that House Bill 5435 will reduce liability costs and, therefore, rates. And consequently, more money would be available for health care," MHAIC's Neumann said. "It would be unconscionable for the Legislature not to pass legislation that would help protect accessible and affordable health care, especially in an election year when health care is such a major issue."
 Efforts to pass the bill into law are being led by the 70-member Michigan Medical Liability Reform Coalition, made up of health care, business and other organizations dedicated to protecting access to affordable health care for all Michigan residents. The coalition's key groups are the Michigan Hospital Association, Michigan State Medical Society, Michigan Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, and the Michigan Farm Bureau.
 -0- 5/21/92
 /CONTACT: Nancy Fiedler of the Michigan Hospital Association, 517-323-3443; or David Fox of the Michigan State Medical Society, 517-337-1351/ CO: Michigan Medical Liability Reform Coalition ST: Michigan IN: INS HEA SU: LEG


JB -- DE001 -- 2621 05/21/92 08:03 EDT
COPYRIGHT 1992 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 21, 1992
Words:838
Previous Article:DESERTS AS DUMPS SEEN AS VIABLE OPTION FOR DISPOSAL OF HAZARDOUS MATERIALS
Next Article:APPLE COMPUTER UNVEILS THREE NEW OSI PRODUCTS AT INTEROP SPRING '92
Topics:


Related Articles
MICHIGAN MEDICAL LIABILITY REFORM COALITION HAILS INTRODUCTION OF HOUSE BILLS
Insurance legislation 1995 takes its turn.
Professionals Group Completes Agreement With MEEMIC
Senator Jaye Leads Rivals by 18% in GOP Primary.
Bill to Curtail Mail Order Pharmacy Would Increase Prescription Costs For Employers, and Consumers by $71 Million a Year, Reports Michigan Health...
Medical-liability reform ranks as top concern in several states.
Suggested Higher Education Budget Cut Would Mean Major Tuition Hikes, Enrollment Caps, a Grim Economic Future, According to Presidents Council, State...
HB 5323: Tax Increase, Jobs Killer, According to AMPEO; Small Business to Fight Tax Hike in FY2005 Budget.
Coalition For A Fair & Competitive Insurance Market Says Senate Should Reject the Blues Attempt to Expand Their Unfair Advantage.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters