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Governor Barbour Applauds Reduction in Medical Liability Insurance Rates
5th reduction in costs since passage of Tort Reform Act of 2004

From: Office of the Governor     Filed 9/12/07  GCN

Governor Haley Barbour today applauded the Medical Assurance Company of Mississippi's (MACM) decision to reduce its medical liability insurance rates across the board by 15.5 percent for 2008.

“This is the latest in a long line of benefits Mississippians have reaped since passage of meaningful tort reform in 2004,” Governor Barbour said.  “I'm delighted with MACM’s decision to reduce medical liability rates and confident this reduction will be significant to our efforts to retain and attract the very best healthcare professionals from across the country.”

Governor Barbour made his comments at a news conference held at the headquarters of the Mississippi State Medical Association. He also noted that Mississippi's economic development successes over the past three years have resulted, in part, from the improved civil justice climate prompted by tort reform. He said companies that offer higher-paying, higher-skilled jobs for Mississippi workers are more willing to look at locating or expanding in Mississippi when they know the civil justice system is fair.

Tort reform was also cited by state Insurance Commissioner George Dale. “The success and impact of tort reform in Mississippi continue to have a major impact on medical malpractice insurance with yet another premium reduction from MACM. Offering more reductions in premiums is a key element in attracting more badly needed doctors to the state,” Dale said.

This reduction marks the fifth time MACM, the largest insurer of physicians in Mississippi, has reduced costs for medical liability insurance since Governor Barbour proposed and the Legislature enacted comprehensive tort reform in 2004.  Base rates for MACM insureds were reduced by 5 percent for the 2006 calendar year and 10 percent for 2007. Additionally, MACM insureds also received a 15 percent refund of premiums paid for their 2005 policy and a 20 percent refund of the premiums paid in 2006.

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