Hospitals in 18 "crisis states" saw their medical malpractice insurance costs climb 158% during the past two years, compared with a 74% increase for hospitals in states that have passed reform legislation, according to a survey released today by the American Hospital Association during its annual meeting. In the crisis states, the cost of insurance for each staffed bed was $11,435, compared with $4,228 in states with reform, according to the survey. Although the chance of national liability reform this year is low, the AHA has put the issue at the top of its agenda when members meet with legislators tomorrow. The House passed a bill capping noneconomic damages at $250,000, but a similar bill in the Senate has virtually no chance. According to the American Medical Association, the 18 crisis states are Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington and West Virginia. In other news, the AHA appointed Molly Coye, CEO of the Health Technology Center, San Francisco, to its board, effective immediately. She will complete the term of Charlotte Yeh, who resigned to join the CMS. -- by Tony Fong
AHA: Malpractice costs up 158% in crisis states
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