Monday, May 16, 2005

Keeping premiums low-an alternative method

In MD, Governor Prepares To Release Malpractice Funds
Almost five months after the General Assembly passed legislation to reduce malpractice premiums for doctors in high-risk specialties, the Ehrlich administration is ready to release state funds that will be used to reduce premiums for many physicians and surgeons.

Budget Secretary James "Chip" DiPaula said Monday he and Gov. Robert Ehrlich were prepared to sign off on a request for funding from Alfred Redmer, state insurance commissioner. The money will be used to hold premium increases to a maximum of 5 percent instead of the 33 percent that was planned by the company that insures most Maryland doctors.

"That will certainly be good news for physician's offices, many of which are feeling quite squeezed," T. Michael Preston, executive director of the Maryland State Medical Society, said.

Third quarter bills from Medical Mutual Liability Insurance Society of Maryland are due to go out next week, and lawmakers have been pressuring the Ehrlich administration to release the money so the reduction in premiums could be included in the May bills.