Iowa Malpractice: A Net Gain of Doctors?

From a Cedar Rapids TV station, a story I believe went out on the AP wire:

“Malpractice costs both attract and drive doctors away”

The cost of medical malpractice insurance appears to cut both ways in Iowa.

Critics say the rising cost of malpractice premiums is driving doctors away from Iowa, but a report by the University of Iowa-based Iowa Physician Information System shows that Iowa has actually gained doctors in recent years.

And for some doctors the reason they come to Iowa is the cost of medical malpractice insurance.

Dr. Jeffrey Piccirillo moved his family and medical practice to the eastern Iowa town of Grinnell where he pays 74-thousand dollars a year in malpractice premiums. He says that’s about one-third of what he paid in suburban Chicago.

The tracking system shows that 264 doctors left Iowa in 2004 for a variety of reasons. It also shows that 303 doctors came to Iowa. That’s a net gain of 39 for a total of nearly five-thousand.

The cost of malpractice insurance doesn’t seem to be tied to the number of lawsuits filed in Iowa.

State records show the number of malpractice lawsuits has dropped since 2002.

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