Medical Liability in Ohio: Overview
Hospitals, doctors and certain other health professionals purchase medical liability insurance that pays up to the policy limits for damages to a patient caused by malpractice. In the early 2000s, the medical community became concerned as jury awards and, subsequently, liability insurance premiums increased, at times drastically, in certain areas of the country. Medical liability in Ohio was particularly affected. A high proportion of the state’s medical liability insurance companies exited the market. And as professional liability premiums rose, physicians were increasingly faced with hard choices, such as retiring early or moving to states with more rational medical liability insurance markets.
Today, medical liability in Ohio has changed. Passage of tort reform legislation in many states, including Ohio, has largely helped to stabilize the medical liability insurance market. Yet medical liability insurance rates still remain near historically high levels and certain medical specialties – such as obstetrics – are particularly affected. Even in states that have passed tort reform legislation, insurers often base decisions about whether or not to lower medical liability insurance rates on the probability that the legislation will withstand judicial scrutiny. Medical liability in Ohio continues to be an issue closely followed by the healthcare community.