Medicine: Alarm Over Malpractice

The A.M.A. fears a crisis in claims and insurance costs

Doctors in New York State, already burdened with some of the highest premiums for malpractice insurance in the U.S., got more bad news last week. The state granted one small insurance company increases in malpractice-policy rates that totaled 52% and promised the similar largesse to other insurers as soon as they applied. Conceding that the increase was "ridiculous," New York's insurance superintendent, James Corcoran, explained that in approving it, he was simply making insurance rates high enough to keep insurers solvent.

The action was symptomatic of what the American Medical Association is calling a crisis in medical malpractice suits. According to...

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