Florida's medical liability insurance crisis could cause a meltdown of the state's medical system without a legislative reform, A. Hugh Greene, president and CEO of Jacksonville-based Baptist Health, said at a town hall meeting in Jacksonville hosted by HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson. Florida's hospitals have experienced a 140% increase in premiums on average statewide, and without a legislative fix the dramatic cost increases for premiums would affect the ability of hospitals and physicians to provide quality medical services for the state, he said. Administrators are finding it "extremely difficult" to recruit high-quality physicians because of the medical liability problem and "hear physicians daily discussing the options of retiring or leaving the state," said Greene, a member of the Coalition to Heal Healthcare in Florida. Launched by the Florida Medical Association and the Florida Hospital Association, the coalition is made up of 50 healthcare and business groups that have assembled and proposed a package of reforms to Florida's House Medical Liability Insurance Workgroup. The coalition's solutions include defining more clearly reasonable parameters of litigation and compensation, providing for a more stable insurance market and improving patient safety, officials from the Florida Hospital Association said. -- by Julie Piotrowski
Fla. CEO pleads for medical-liability fix
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