Malpractice insurer to pay $11 million to health-care providers


The state’s largest medical malpractice insurer announced this week it plans to return more than $11 million to the physicians it insures. The medical industry differed with trial lawyers on the reasons.

“Illinois’ improving legal landscape made these dividends possible,” said Dr. Harold Jensen, chair of the Illinois State Medical Insurance Exchange board, in a written statement. “ISMIE’s claim frequency is down for the two policy years the dividends reflect, so those funds are now available to return to our loyal physician policyholders.”

ISMIE was founded in 1976 by the Illinois State Medical Society to provide malpractice insurance.

Changes Illinois lawmakers made in 2005 to the state’s medical malpractice laws placed a $500,000 cap on non-economic damages paid by doctors when they are found liable in malpractice cases. Similarly, the law created a $1 million cap for hospitals. An injured patient’s economic damages — for medical care, lost wages and other costs — still are to be paid in full.

Hospitals, regulators in battle over rules

From the Des Moines Register

In Iowa today, a state license to run a hospital costs $10. The cost of a state license to open a bait shop is three times that amount.

The state’s $10 hospital license fee has been the same since 1947, when President Harry Truman was in the White House.

The fee is not expected to change anytime soon. The reason, according to state regulators, is because of the unprecedented say that hospital officials have over proposed changes in Iowa’s laws and regulations governing hospitals.