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.

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