In an effort to retain specialist physicians, the governing board of Memorial Healthcare System, Hollywood, Fla., suspended for one year a long-held policy requiring physicians to carry medical malpractice insurance. With malpractice insurance rates rising nationally, the cost and availability of coverage has forced some physicians to self-insure or consider no longer practicing. "There's a national malpractice crisis, and it's being felt particularly hard here in South Florida," said Stanley Marks, M.D., director of medical affairs at four-hospital Memorial Healthcare, a tax-supported system serving south Broward County. Four OB/GYNs last month said malpractice insurance costs were prompting them to take a leave of absence from the system, Marks said. With the policy change effective, "it is likely they will come back on staff," he said. Marks said he anticipated that no more than 5% of Memorial Healthcare's 1,100 physicians will opt out of carrying medical malpractice insurance.
Fla. system suspends malpractice requirement
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