Recent Reforms Enacted (since 2003) Set aside $13.2 million to create a low-interest loan program to help physicians purchase tail coverage if necessary. Medical review panel created to determine if "substantial" evidence exists for the case to proceed to trial. Panel findings are admissible in court. Certificate of merit required for panel filings.
Emergency Care Provision None
Reform Elements In Law Joint Liability
Pre-Trial Screening
Affidavit of Merit
Premium subsidy
I’m Sorry Law
Constitutional Status of Reforms Untested
Change in Insurance Rates AMA reports at least one insurer raised rates as much as 40 to 100% in 2004. an obstetrician in Wyoming who has never been sued pays about $87,000 a year for insurance with The Doctors Company. A physician in the same specialty in South Dakota pays the company just under $29,000. Rates for a general practice physician in Wyoming who does not provide surgery or hospital care are about $15,300. The same doctor might pay about $6,700 per year in Idaho.
Insurance Availability In 2004, Wyoming's largest medical malpractice insurer - OHIC Insurance - said it would stop writing policies in the state. OHIC provided about 43% of the state's medical malpractice market.
Change in Physician Availability A report for the for the Wyoming Office of Rural Health showed 728 physicians practicing full time in the state in September 2004. The report noted 115 physician vacancies in the state, with more than 50 physicians leaving their practices over the course of the year. Wyoming's physician/population ratio ranks 47th out of 50 states.
Change in Cases Filed/Awards 24 paid claims in 2003 or 24.6 per 1000 active nonfederal physicians. US avg. was 18.8 per 1000. 27 paid claims in 2005 or 28 per 1000 active nonfederal physicians. US avg. was 17.1 per 1000. (Kaiser) 18 total number of paid claims for 2006 or 15.5 per 1,000 active, non-federal physicians. 13 paid claims in 2007.
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