Paterson Announces Freeze On Medical Malpractice Rates
Governor David A. Paterson recently announced that he has signed legislation to freeze medical malpractice rates for physicians in New York for one year in an effort to provide desperately needed premium relief for doctors already overburdened by soaring premiums. The legislation will also allow the state additional time to continue its work to develop a long-term solution.
The bill, which was part of the budget package signed into law by the Governor, will freeze medical malpractice premium rates for physicians and suspend an anticipated surcharge until June 30, 2009. Without this legislation, many physicians would have seen much as a 30 percent increase in rates.
"I want to thank the Legislature for stabilizing malpractice rates for the short term, thereby ensuring that our doctors can continue to provide quality care in New York without getting suffocated by more back-breaking fiscal burdens," said Governor Paterson. "However, our work is not cut out for us, and we remain committed to creating comprehensive and meaningful medical malpractice reform."
Agreement on the rate freeze was reached during the special session of the Legislature held on August 19. The bill will hold rates stable as the Legislature and Governor Paterson continue to work towards reforms that would provide significant and long-term premium relief for physicians, enhance patient safety and stabilize the medical malpractice insurance market. The State is hopeful that these reforms can be finalized during the next regular legislative session.