Conn. Med-Mal Panel to Reconvene

August 18, 2004

A Connecticut legislative working group will reconvene in September to reconsider ways to address rising medical malpractice rates.

“The issue is not going to go away,” said Sen. Joseph Crisco, D-Woodbridge, one of the co-chairmen of the working group.

Legislation aimed at lowering the rates passed the House and Senate last session, but it was vetoed by former Gov. John G. Rowland. The legislation put forward a series of reforms, but did not include caps on damages for pain and suffering.

One of the state’s insurers, GE Medical Protective, recently decided it would raise medical malpractice rates by 90 percent. The rate increase took effect July 1 after being approved by the state Department of Insurance in April.

The increase will affect about 225 Connecticut physicians.

The state’s insurance commissioner, Susan Cogswell, has been asked to review the surge in rate increases.

“This insurance crisis once again demonstrates that it is not fair to the medical community and the people of Connecticut because it ultimately will deny people access to health care,” said Rep. Mary Fritz, D-Cheshire, a co-chairwoman.

Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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