Conn. Holding Med-Mal Insurance Hearing Today

February 25, 2005

Connecticut officials will convene a medical malpractice informational hearing today at Capital Community College in Hartford.

Last month Governor M. Jodi Rell asked the Commissioners of the Departments of Public Health and Insurance and the Office of Health Care Access to put together the hearing focusing on issues ranging from rate review by the insurance department to access to health care.

Her request came after doctors and consumer groups protested the approval of an 89.6 percent medical malpractice insurance rate hike for GE Medical Protective Insurance Co. The hike went into effect last April.

The Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association, joined by two consumer groups and an individual doctor, asked Cogswell to halt the increase and review what they maintain is an “excessive” and “unconscionable” price increase.

Connecticut Insurance Commissioner Susan Cogswell agreed to hire an independent actuary to review the controversial 89.6 percent rate filing that it previously approved in April. According to the department, that outside analysis confirmed its own earlier assessment of the filing and the rate approval was not rescinded.

Gov. Rell then called for a public hearing into the broader issues of medical malpractice cists.

Rell’s office announced the hearing on Feb. 22, just days before its scheduled opening.

“I asked the agencies to convene this informational public hearing to address skyrocketing malpractice insurance rate increases and to broaden the general discussion on medical malpractice insurance,” Rell said. “The experts that the departments are inviting to speak will give a detailed perspective on some of the regulatory aspects of the medical malpractice issue.

“I have offered my own medical malpractice proposal to the legislature but would still like to gather as much information as we can on potential solutions to this problem,” the Governor said. “As I have said before, we must address this situation if we wish to continue providing our residents with affordable and accessible health care.”

The hearing will be held in Centinel Hill Hall, 11th Floor, 950 Main Street. The hearing will start at 12:00.

Some featured speakers will be:
• John Purple, Chief Actuary, Connecticut Insurance Department
• Tim Cremin, Consulting Actuary, Milliman USA
• Wendy Furniss, Bureau Chief of Health Care Systems at the Connecticut Department of Public Health

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