Malpractice protection efforts seem to come up short

Medical malpractice insurance premiums continue to rise, even as some states place caps on non-economic damages, according to a survey by Weiss Ratings. In reviewing the effect of tort reform on medical malpractice, Weiss notes that in 19 states that implemented caps between 1991 and 2002, physicians suffered a 48.2 percent jump in median premiums, from $20,414 in 1991 to $30,246 in 2002. Surprisingly, in 32 states without caps, the pace of increase was actually slower, as premiums rose by only 35.9 percent.