The percentage of medical liability insurance premiums with year-to-year increases has surged for the third year in a row, a trend that could negatively affect independent providers who have experienced relatively low rates and a soft market for roughly the past 20 years.
While the proportion of medical liability premiums with annual increases was somewhat stable between 2010 and 2018, in 2019 around 27% of premiums saw increases—nearly twice the rate from the previous year, according to a recent analysis by the American Medical Association.
In both 2020 and 2021, roughly 30% of premiums increased, with a number of states reporting double-digit increases.
"The medical liability insurance cycle is in a period of increasing premiums, compounding the economic woes for medical practices that struggled during the past two years of the pandemic," said Dr. Gerald Harmon, AMA president, in a news release. "The increase in premiums can force physicians to close their practices or drop vital services. This is detrimental to patients as higher medical costs can lead to reduced access to care."