NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Will Malpractice Suits Prompt "Doctor Flight" in New Jersey Next?

May 17, 2002

Doctors in such states as Mississippi and Texas are either quitting or fleeing to practice medicine elsewhere because of out-off-sight jury awards in malpractice cases. They soon may be joined by New Jersey physicians.

Earlier this month, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists named New Jersey one of nine "red alert" states where lack of tort reform is endangering health care.

Here's why:

  • Last week, New Jersey's largest malpractice insurer, the MIIX group, announced it had essentially decided to fold up shop.
  • Founded by doctors to insure themselves and other doctors, MIIX has lost more than $200 million in the past 15 months -- and their decision means that about 9,000 New Jersey doctors, 37 percent of the state total, may soon lose their insurance.
  • Additionally, three malpractice insurers stopped doing business in the state in 2001.
  • Thanks to skyrocketing jury awards, New Jersey hospitals have seen malpractice insurance premiums jump 250 percent over the past three years.

Source: Editorial, "Born to Sue," Wall Street Journal, May 17, 2002.

 

Browse more articles on Health Issues