Last week Governor Rendell stated he will not be seeking to renew the state funded subsidy for medical malpractice premiums known as MCARE due to the fact that any “medical malpractice crisis” is officially over. The Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Program, or MCARE provides $500,000 in liability insurance in addition to the $500,000 in coverage medical providers must buy from the private insurance market.
MCARE was designed to provide additional professional liability insurance to doctors and hospitals in Pennsylvania at subsidized, and therefore reduced, premium rates.
Statewide, there has been a 41 per cent drop in malpractice lawsuits in the last decade. Judicial rule changes and new laws implemented in 2002 have been extraordinarily effective in abating and reducing the malpractice insurance premium rates, Rendell said at a news conference.
The statistics in the report published by the Adminstrative Office of the Pennsylvania Courts, and which Rendell relied upon, make clear that any argument that Pennsylvania is in a medical malpractice crises is simply no longer true. Premiums that doctors and hospitals pay for coverage have gone down. Moreover,today there are 57 carriers writing malpractice coverage in Pennsylvania as compared to 3 in 2002.