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PIAA BOARD VOTES TO OPPOSE CLINTON PROVISION TO REFORM MALPRACTICE SYSTEM

 WASHINGTON, June 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The Board of Trustees of the Physician Insurers Association of America (PIAA) today voted to "strongly oppose" a key provision reported to be included in President Clinton's Health Care Reform Plan.
 "The PIAA Board was greatly disturbed by information we have received indicating that the Administration has already decided to embrace the untested concept of `enterprise liability' and forego the necessary and meaningful tort reform that has worked in California and other places around the country," said W. Maurice Lawson, M.D., president of the PIAA Board of Trustees.
 "Our board voted today to send the strongest possible message to the president that enterprise liability is simply not acceptable to the 190,000 physicians that PIAA member companies insure," he said.
 The PIAA Board voted to re-endorse its long-standing support for federal tort reform modeled after the law that has been operating successfully in California for 18 years. Elements of this landmark law, known as MICRA, include a $250,000 cap on non-economic damages, mandatory offsets for collateral payments received from other sources, periodic payment of future damage awards over $100,000 and a sliding scale for plaintiffs attorneys' contingency fees.
 "We support what has worked and must oppose that which is an untested, unproven academic theory," Dr. Lawson said. "Enterprise liability not only will fail to solve the medical malpractice crisis in America, but will simply shift the cost of liability from physicians to faceless corporate entities known as `accountable health plans.''' This will undoubtedly serve to increase the frequency and magnitude of claims and overall malpractice costs, according to Dr. Lawson.
 "We urge the president to reconsider his apparent decision on this matter," Dr. Lawson said. "We stand ready to assist him and his Administration to craft a medical malpractice reform package that will work, be a credit to his proposal and provide the basis for doctors to support it."
 PIAA represents 45 physician-owned or -directed professional liability insurance companies that insure about two-thirds of the independent practicing physicians in the United States. Among PIAA's primary objectives are to improve the quality medical care for patients through loss prevention activities; improve the current medical liability system; and suggest new malpractice claims resolution systems.
 PIAA is based in Washington, D.C.
 -0- 6/4/93
 /CONTACT: Lawrence Smarr, executive director of PIAA, 202-223-2223/


CO: Physician Insurer's Association of America ST: District of Columbia IN: HEA SU:

WB -- NY047 -- 5523 06/04/93 14:55 EDT
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Date:Jun 4, 1993
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