Conn. OBGYNs Drop Malpractice Levy

September 16, 2004

Women’s Health Connecticut, the state’s largest group of obstetrician-gynecologists, has dropped plans to add a surcharge to offset the costs of malpractice insurance premiums.

In May, the group had announced the $500 surcharge after its attempts to get a legislative remedy to the state’s medical liability problems failed.

The group had intended to begin imposing the $500 surcharge on Sept. 1, but is canceling that because it has persuaded health insurers to raise the reimbursements they pay to Women’s Health Connecticut doctors.

“It was not easy [getting them] to agree. We did have an issue that did resonate with them,” Nancy Bernstein, president and chief executive officer of Women’s Health Connecticut, said. “They were sympathetic, but they didn’t roll over.”

Collectively, the independent practices that make up Women’s Health Connecticut deliver about 12,000 babies a year.

Bernstein said that that the volume of doctors, “representing a third of all practicing Ob/Gyns” in Connecticut, also influenced the health insurers.

If the doctors’ group had begun applying the $500 surcharge across the board, it would have realized an additional $6 million to cover doctors’ malpractice insurance.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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