How skyrocketing malpractice premiums can shutter physician practices
“To illustrate the mathematics, Al-Aswad disclosed his personal finances: His practice earned about $830,000 last year. Out of that came his insurance costs, rent, utilities, staff salaries and, lastly, his own salary, which was in ‘the low $200,000-range.’
He hasn’t had a payout for a malpractice claim in 15 years, yet his insurance costs are high Ã‚Â— just below what obstetricians and neurosurgeons typically pay. When he received last-minute notification that his insurance costs would be skyrocketing, he faced tough choices.
‘I could quit my practice against my wishes or I could retire in a very short period of time, which would compromise my patient care,’ he said. ‘I couldn’t come up with the money, so I was out of business for six weeks. I had to shut down my office. No surgeries. I had to cancel them, delay them or do them early before the insurance ran out.’”
The patients are the ultimate losers as the malpractice crisis continues.