Medical malpractice insurance rates for doctors in Florida and across the country have remained flat for nearly a decade. They continue to remain at that same flat level, despite the fact that the insurance sector has experienced losses for two years. Despite the fact that malpractice insurance rates have remained flat, patients continue to experience surgical errors, medical mistakes and other serious problems as a result of doctor or hospital negligence. There are a number of reasons why the insurance industry has not raised its rates despite significant payouts.
Doctors often note that medical malpractice insurance is the most expensive cost of business operation for physicians. Even the number of malpractice claims is down, however; while some payouts for major surgical errors and other serious events have been significant, legislation has restricted some patients' ability to sue. There are a number of competing insurers in the market, which has also helped to keep premiums low. In addition, many large physician groups and hospitals choose to self-insure rather than buying insurance from a provider; they pay out directly in the case of a successful malpractice claim rather than purchasing a separate insurance plan. This is not feasible for a doctor in sole practice but can be a more efficient option for massive medical companies.
In addition, many recent claims have focused on the pharmaceutical industry rather than physicians, especially in cases of opioid addiction and overdoses. In some cases, pharmaceutical companies have been more heavily involved in unethical or negligent behavior around the promotion of opioids rather than physicians.
Regardless of trends in the insurance industry, however, medical mistakes can have serious impacts on the lives of affected patients. A medical malpractice attorney might consult with patients who have been injured by doctor negligence to determine the next steps to seek compensation for their damages.