An effort is underway to provide relief to Missouri doctors who claim they are being gouged by high malpractice insurance premiums. State Insurance Director Scott Lakin has put together a study, which provides several recommendations for improving the situation. Lakin says that while physicians complain about high insurance rates brought about by trial lawyers filing lawsuits, legal reforms passed in the 1980s have worked and have actually resulted in less money being paid as a result of lawsuits. Lakin’s report suggests several recommendations for giving doctors the relief they desire. Among others: a requirement that judges dismiss so-called frivolous lawsuits and one that insurers use Missouri-specific data when determining rates for doctors. Lakin says that while few Missouri doctors are sued, doctors in several other states are handling lawsuit after lawsuit and that raises the premiums in Missouri and elsewhere.
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