There aren’t many – or any, I’d like to think – industries where you can get away with charging exorbitant fees for services you don’t intend to provide. That, however, is exactly the swindle the medical malpractice insurance industry has been pulling off for years.
The American Association for Justice recently released a scathing report: “The Insurance Hoax: How Doctors and Patients Pay for the Huge Earnings of Medical Malpractice Insurers.”
What it boils down to is that medical malpractice insurers have manipulated the books to make it look as if they lost a great deal of money. The truth, according to the report, is that these insurance companies make higher profits than 99% of Fortune 500 companies. What’s more, this con is being perpetrated at a time when the country is so unhappy, unhealthy and disillusioned with health care that we are considering national reform.
The report has seven key findings I will re-list here. You can read the full text of the report at Justice.org, the homepage for the American Association for Justice.
- The report analyzed the finances of 10 leading insurance companies. As I mentioned above, their profit percentage is higher than that of 99% of all Fortune 500 companies. It is also 35 times greater than the Fortune 500 average for the same time period.
- Insurers have exaggerated losses, creating a myth of a medical malpractice insurance “crisis.”
- Insurers underestimated profits. With adjustments, this tendency shows hidden profits going back for years.
- Today’s profits, already the highest ever, will likely go even higher.
- The doctored figures offered by insurance companies have altered policy on medical negligence. “Overblown reported losses were used by the insurance industry to justify new measures restricting the rights of those injured by medical negligence,” the report says.
- Doctors have been hardest hit overall by these deceptions on the part of medical malpractice insurers. Doctors are paying higher and higher premiums for coverage that doesn’t truly protect them. The insurance companies sell it to doctors under the guise of being protectors.
- Malpractice insurers have seen their profit margins range from 5.9% to 74.8%, with an average of 31.2%. Considering our health care costs and unemployment figures, that degree of profit is just shameful.
Given this data, you have to wonder why their hasn’t been more of a focus on limiting the record profits of medical malpractice insurance companies, rather than focusing on ways to limit a catastrophically injured person’s claim.
Hmmmm, wonder if it’s due to the fact that insurance companies have LOTS of powerful lobbyists while the malpractice victims have no organized lobbying groups……
Hate to say it, but as always, the big money guys crush the little guys who have no real voice.
I guess that’s why I love being able to be the voice for the little guys I represent. It may be David taking on Goliath but all it takes is a sling and one well-placed stone to slay the giant! 🙂
Thanks for reading,
James B. Reed, Esq.
NY Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William St., Elmira, NY 14902
Tel. (607) 733-8866 Fax. (607) 732-6062
Toll Free 1-800-943-3529
- Curbing medical lawsuits: What Obama really means (money.cnn.com)
- Are Malpractice Suits Going Away? (eyespi20.com)
- White House offers medical malpractice initiative (cnn.com)