New York’s medical malpractice insurance situation has been in the news quite a bit, due to a 14% increase in premiums. (See, Why New York Medical Malpractice Insurance Jumped 14%) Of course, even before that there had been no shortage of complaints that doctors would leave New York out of fears of high malpractice premiums. Every year the doctors go to Albany to lobby for tort “reform” and every year consumer groups rebut the stories they bring with them.
So here’s the latest empirical evidence, as opposed to anecdotes used for propaganda. A recent exit survey of medical residents that have completed their training, from the SUNY Albany School of Public Health, says the the number of doctors leaving New York due to malpractice concerns was just 1.8%:
Forty-eight percent (48%) of the graduates with confirmed practice plans were staying in New York to begin practice, although there were substantial differences by specialty. The in- state retention rate has been relatively flat over the last four years of the survey. For graduates in 2007 who were subspecializing, 53% were planning to do so in New York compared to 52% in 2005.
- When respondents who were planning to practice outside of New York were asked why they were leaving, the most common reasons were proximity to family (26%) and inadequate salary (21%). Thirteen percent (13%) of respondents indicated that they never intended to practice in New York.
- Less than 2% of respondents reported that the principal reason for them practicing outside of New York was the cost of malpractice insurance (1.8%) or the lack of job opportunities for spouse/partner in New York (1.4%).
The number of doctors in New York is the highest that it has been in a decade.
hat tip: PopTort