Premium increases for physician malpractice coverage slowed dramatically in the past few years, with most increases in 2005 ranging from zero to about 15%, according to a report by the Medical Liability Monitor. That was well below the 2004 range of about 7% to 25%. A year earlier, the high end of the range was 50% for many physicians, according to the publication, which tracks rates at 45 malpractice carriers representing about 75% of the physician market. Not only did premium increases level off, but also many physicians saw their premiums not increase or even decline, said Barbara Dillard, the publication's editor. "Whether this is a sustainable trend that signals the beginning of another soft market only time will tell," Dillard said. Dade County, Fla., again had the highest rates in the U.S., with obstetrician-gynecologists and general surgeons paying as much as $299,420 for a year of coverage, an 8% increase from 2004. Internists in Minnesota enjoyed the lowest premiums at $3,375, the same as in 2004. -- by Michael Romano
Data show physician premium increases stabilizing
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