Medical malpractice reform

Archived coverage of state leaders' efforts to reduce doctors' insurance rates.

March 2, 2006

A Sun follow-up: Masking malpractice cases

Long wait for action in death of their son

Three years after their teenage son, Michael, died from taking a prescription painkiller, George and Alicia Osgood are still waiting for the outcome of a state investigation into his death.

December 22, 2005

Sun Follow-Up

Calls for more doctor oversight

Key Maryland lawmakers are calling for tighter oversight of the state's doctors, including greater disclosure of malpractice claims histories and other information by the Board of Physicians.

December 18, 2005

Masking Malpractice Cases

Disregarding the symptoms

First of three parts

August 20, 2005

Doctor insurer says malpractice rate increase not needed this year

After two years of hefty premium increases that touched off threats of a doctor exodus in Maryland and led to a legislative special session, the state's largest malpractice insurer said it does not need a rate increase for next year, leading some to question whether the much-debated malpractice crisis ever existed.

May 24, 2005

Doctors get help on bills for insurance this week

Doctors hit by soaring malpractice insurance premiums this year will be getting relief this week - the result of emergency legislation crafted by a special session of the General Assembly.

May 11, 2005

State clears way to give doctors relief on premiums

An opinion by Maryland's attorney general yesterday cleared the way for the state to give doctors relief on malpractice insurance premiums before July 1.

March 15, 2005

Medical malpractice bill OK'd, moves to the House

The state Senate passed a bill last night that would implement a fund to hold down doctors' insurance rates and set limits on malpractice lawsuits.

March 11, 2005

Senate Republicans revisit issue of malpractice reform

Sensing that their chance to push for legal changes had arrived, Senate Republicans launched a full debate on the merits of medical malpractice reform yesterday by offering a series of amendments to a more technical bill.

March 10, 2005

Governor renews his effort to limit malpractice awards

After his defeat in December's special legislative session, Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. is again pushing a medical malpractice bill that would lower limits on awards to victims of medical mistakes and tighten rules for expert witnesses.

January 27, 2005

General Assembly

Redmer lays HMO cost rise to Democrats

Rebuffing partisan calls for his resignation, state Insurance Commissioner Alfred W. Redmer Jr. defended yesterday his handling of requests from insurers to pass on a recently approved 2 percent HMO tax to consumers, saying he is following the procedure established by his Democrat-appointed predecessor.

January 26, 2005

Insurance regulator draws fire over HMOs

Top Democratic lawmakers blasted Maryland's insurance regulator yesterday for allowing HMOs to pass a 2 percent tax increase on to consumers without a close examination of industry finances, and a leading delegate called for a boycott of higher insurance bills until the costs can be justified.

January 12, 2005

General Assembly

Lawmakers override veto on reform bill

The Maryland General Assembly voted yesterday to override Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s veto of a medical malpractice reform bill, rebuffing an intense lobbying effort by the governor and setting a tense partisan tone for the 90-day session that begins today.

January 11, 2005

Ehrlich vetoes malpractice legislation

Calling the legislation before him a hollow reform, Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. vetoed the General Assembly's medical malpractice bill yesterday, an action legislative leaders said they are all but certain to override when they reconvene today.

January 11, 2005

2 bills' vetoes likely to hold

The Maryland Senate probably won't muster the votes to override Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s vetoes of bills limiting university tuition increases and setting a "living wage" for state contractors, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. said yesterday.

January 11, 2005

The malpractice issue: who, why and what

Although Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. vetoed malpractice reform legislation yesterday, he and Democratic legislative leaders agree that action is needed to resolve what both sides call a crisis. Most of the state's doctors were hit with a 33 percent increase in premiums Jan. 1, after a 28 percent increase last year. In this Q&A, Sun staff writer M. William Salganik explains how the issue developed.

January 7, 2005

Health panel sees reform bill as costly

The Maryland Health Care Commission warned yesterday that an HMO tax included in the recently passed malpractice reform bill was likely to increase the number of people without insurance and could force it to cut benefits for the small-employer policies that cover nearly half a million Marylanders.

January 5, 2005

Physicians urge governor not to veto malpractice bill

After fighting alongside Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. for malpractice reform, leaders of the state's doctors and hospitals stepped away from the governor yesterday, urging him not to veto the malpractice bill passed by the General Assembly last week.

January 5, 2005

Doctors facing tough decisions

The day after Christmas, days before her malpractice insurance bill came due and Maryland politicians hammered out a bill in the hope of rescuing doctors such as her, Nancy Brown-Holt - feeling she was between a rock and a hard place - simply quit.

January 4, 2005

Medical 'reform' hard to assess

Gauging the savings in future malpractice costs - the key goal of a reform bill rushed through a special legislative session - is a virtually impossible task, experts say.

January 2, 2005

Doctors pleased but ask for more

Some Maryland doctors say they welcome as a good start the hastily negotiated legislation passed by the General Assembly last week to rein in malpractice premiums, but they warned that more far-reaching legal reforms would be required to solve an insurance crisis that threatens some physicians' practices.

January 1, 2005

Ill feelings at the top hobble Md. governing

With a two-day special session of the General Assembly ending in acrimony, the prospects of amicable relations between Maryland's first Republican governor in more than 30 years and a Democrat-controlled legislature are at an all-time low.

December 31, 2004

Ehrlich has veto ready for bill

Governor talks veto; lawmakers talk override

December 29, 2004

General Assembly: Special Session

Lawmakers, Ehrlich digging in heels over malpractice subsidy

The opening day of a rare special session of the Maryland General Assembly ended with legislative leaders locked in a showdown with Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. over how to subsidize the insurance bills of doctors.

December 28, 2004

Doctor stars as tort victim

Towson obstetrician Carol Ritter spent two decades delivering babies, earning a reputation as one of Baltimore's top woman doctors.

December 7, 2004

By David Nitkin and Andrew A. Green

Political Game: No evidence of progress on key issues

PRAGMATISM dictates that Maryland legalizes slot machine next year, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller said yesterday in a pre-General Assembly briefing that foreshadowed another year of gridlock on top policy issues facing the state.

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