The state of New York now has a one-year freeze on malpractice rates thanks to special session legislation that Governor David Paterson recently signed into law, giving the Legislature additional time to work on a long-term solution to the medical malpractice problem confronting the state.
The bill, which was part of a larger budget package, will freeze medical malpractice premium rates for physicians and suspend an anticipated surcharge until June 30, 2009. Physicians had been facing as much as a 30% increase in rates. It also prohibits any surcharges on premiums to compensate for "inadequate" premiums in previous years.
"Our doctors can continue to provide quality care in New York without getting suffocated by more back-breaking fiscal burdens," said Governor Paterson. "Our work is now cut out for us, and we remain committed to creating comprehensive and meaningful medical malpractice reform."
The New York Legislature reconvenes on January 7, 2009.
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