New York State Insurance Department
New York State Department of Health


ISSUED 8/30/2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDICAL MALPRACTICE LIABILITY TASK FORCE MEMBERS ANNOUNCED

Insurance Superintendent Eric R. Dinallo and Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D. announced today the members of the Medical Malpractice Liability Task Force, charged by Governor Eliot Spitzer with identifying the fundamental causes of high medical malpractice costs and proposing solutions. The task force includes organizations representing the stakeholders: consumers, the business community, doctors and other health professionals, hospitals, health plans, medical malpractice insurers and lawyers. It also includes members of the State Legislature.

The task force will help define the major causes of medical malpractice and of the high cost of insurance. It will also be asked to help collect data that can be used to clearly identify the major cost drivers and to evaluate benefits of proposed solutions. The task force will work to achieve agreement on short-term and long-term reforms.

"We will produce an effective action plan to fix the medical malpractice system, not some report to collect dust," Dinallo said. "A good malpractice system should encourage accessible, quality medical care; promote increased patient safety; treat victims of malpractice fairly; set reasonable insurance costs for health providers; and, by promoting healthy, competitive insurance suppliers, insure that victims will be paid and health providers protected. The current system fails on every one of those goals."

"Reform of the medical malpractice liability structure needs input from many sectors of society, including physicians, patients, and insurers," Daines said. "This task force has the collective expertise to help us see beyond where we are to where we need to be."

The members of the Medical Malpractice Liability Task Force are:

Consumers:
Center for Justice and Democracy
Center for Medical Consumers
Citizen Action of New York

Business:
The Business Council of New York State
Partnership for New York City

Hospital Associations:
Greater New York Hospital Association
Healthcare Association of New York State

Physicians/Associations:
Medical Society of the State of New York
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
New York Chapter of American College of Surgeons
New York State Society of Orthopedic Surgeons
New York State Association of Licensed Midwives
New York State Nurses Association
Family Planning Advocates of New York State

Health Plans:
New York Health Plan Association
New York State Conference of Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans (Empire and Excellus)

Medical Malpractice Insurers:
Medical Liability Mutual Insurance Company
Academic Health Professionals Insurance Association
Physicians’ Reciprocal Insurers
Hospitals Insurance Company
Medical Malpractice Insurance Plan

Lawyers:
New York State Bar Association
New York State Trial Lawyers Association
New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers

Legislature:
Representatives of the Assembly and Senate Majority and Minority selected by those bodies.

State Government:
Insurance Superintendent Eric R. Dinallo, chair
Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D, vice chair


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