The Missouri Department of Insurance is mulling over how to help the state’s doctors deal with what’s being called a medical malpractice insurance crisis. Medical malpractice insurance is, in many cases, not affordable … and, in some cases, not even available. The state is trying to improve that situation by considering setting up a state-sponsored medical malpractice plan called a Joint Underwriting Association, which would provide temporary coverage. Doctor Steve Buie of Kansas City, a member of the board of the Missouri Academy of Family Physicians, says this idea is a bandaid solution. Many doctors claim the proposal does not address the crisis which has its origin in the state’s courts – where trial lawyers file lawsuit after lawsuit – keeping doctors from focusing on keeping patients healthy. A decision on whether to move forward with the state plan could come within a few weeks.
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