Justinian C. Lane, Esq.
Let Justice Be Done, Though the Heavens May Fall
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Justinian Lane's Blog

Justinian's Blog

Florida's Three Strikes Rule for Doctors

A friend of mine sent this link to a story at Fox News.  Voters in Florida have approved a measure that will suspend a doctor's license if that doctor has three malpractice payouts.  As interesting as this concept is, that's not what I want to discuss. 

Instead, take a look at this quote:

Yelverton is among the physicians caught in the middle of the fight.

Like thousands of other Florida doctors, he has never gotten in trouble for making a mistake. He has delivered more than 10,000 babies in his 33-year career -- enough, he notes, to make a "whole little town."

But the 63-year-old increasingly feels it was just not worth it to be a doctor in this state, and he now works in the front office of his practice to develop procedures to reduce the risk of medical mistakes.

One reason he stopped seeing patients and delivering babies was the increase of the cost of his malpractice insurance, and the feeling that at any time he could lose a bundle in a lawsuit, whether it had merit or not.

"The hardest thing about giving up a very successful practice of 33 years is that your patients have come to rely on you for what they consider quality medicine and they have to find someone else," Yelverton said. "And it's one less experienced doctor."

So, in 33 years, and through 10,000+ deliveries, this doctor had never had a malpractice payout - but malpractice insurance rates are driving him out of medicine.  Will someone please explain to me doctors don't lobby for insurance rate caps instead of trying to cap malpractice payouts? 

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