The Missouri legislature has legislation pending which would require malpractice insurers to reveal the details of their claims history and rate-setting policies to the Department of Insurance. Doctors and Trial Attorneys both support this proposed legislation.
Trial Attorneys have claimed for years that they have been used as scapegoats by the insurance carriers for rising premiums. Doctors are supporting the bill in hopes that their malpractice rates may drop. One of the purposes of the bill is to give the Department of Insurance more data in which to determine whether or not to approve a proposed rate increase by a carrier. As expected, the insurance industry does not support this bill and is doing what it can to defeat the legislation.
It is well documented that malpractice rates have actually increased in most states even after tort reform has been enacted. Clearly, the insurance industry does not want to open its books for examination in fear that their years of propaganda will be proven wrong. I hope the bill passes, because clearly the doctors need some relief form rising rates. I believe that if passed the data collected will prove to the public, politicians and doctors that the reason for the continued increase in malpractice premiums was not due to excessive lawsuits as contended by the insurers.