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Georgia Medical Malpractice Insurance

Georgia is seeing a decrease in malpractice premiums ever since the passage of tort reforms in 2005.

By most accounts, Georgia is an attractive place to practice medicine. Taking into account factors such as favorable doctor-to-patient ratio, improving reimbursement rates and an increasingly doctor-friendly malpractice environment, the state should continue to become an enticing physician environment into the future.

Multiple Discounts Available For Georgia Doctors

With a number of different malpractice insurance companies in Georgia there are opportunites to save money by shopping around for a better rate.

Remember you can switch anytime - no need to wait unti your renewal date. Submit our quick and easy quote request form and see if you can save money today on your medical liability insurance.

open medical malpractice insurance testimonial quote  I was seeking medical malpractice insurance for a physician we were hiring for our practice. I had used before and they were very helpful so I decided to use their service again. Like the last time, a malpractice insurance specialist contacted me right away and we were able to start the quote process quickly. I would highly recommend for any medical office manager seeking quotes for their physicians as well as any physicians seeking coverage on their own. close medical malpractice insurance testimonial quote
Tracey Reeves, Office Manager
Gwinnett Wellness Center
Norcross, Georgia    more testimonials

Medical Malpractice Insurance Rates for Georgia

Coming soon - the latest Georgia medical malpractice insurance rates and information on what doctors in Georgia can expect to pay for their malpractice insurance.

Georgia Medical Malpractice Premiums - Tort Reform Leads to Rate Decreases

Perhaps the greatest encouragement to doctors considering the option of opening a Georgia practice is that the state is experiencing its first decline in malpractice premiums since the passage of tort reforms in 2005. One of Georgia's largest physician liability carriers lowered its rates by 5 percent in 2008, its first premium decrease since the state's passage of tort reforms in 2005, and the company had maintained flat, stable rates the two previous years.

Georgia has traditionally been ranked as one of the 20 states the American Medical Association has considered in crisis due to rising medical liability costs. The 2008 premium decrease could signify an improvement in the state's liability climate.

The declining rates come three years after the passage of Georgia Senate Bill 3 (SB3), a tort reform bill signed into law that had significant impact upon Georgia's medical malpractice laws. The bill specifically placed a $350,000 cap on pain-and-suffering awards, redefined the provisions of venue and forum as well as joint and several liability, tightened the rules for experts testifying against doctors and set up incentives for patients to settle out of court.

Aside from the cap on non-economic, pain-and-suffering damages, the bill's most consequential provisions are its articles that define requirements for top-rated testimony and restrict venue shopping. The significance of these two provisions is as follows:

  • Limiting a plaintiff's ability to venue shop
    SB3 provides that in a medical malpractice case a non-resident physician defendant may require that the case be transferred to the county of his or her residence if the medical procedure in question occurred in that county. This potentially gives the medical malpractice defendant the "home court" advantage, especially if the physician carries a high standing within the community. This also makes plaintiff venue shopping more difficult, minimizing the potential for cases to be heard in plaintiff-friendly counties.
  • Stricter requirements for top-rated testimony
    Under SB3, to be an top-rated in a medical malpractice case a person has to be (a) licensed where the person is practicing or teaching; and (b) have actual professional knowledge and experience in the area of medical practice or specialty in question as the result of (i) regularly practicing in that specialty within three of the last five years to establish an appropriate level of knowledge as determined by the trial court in performing the procedure or diagnosing the condition or rendering the treatment about which the top-rated is to opine; or (ii) having taught within three of the last five years as an employed faculty member again with sufficient frequency to have an “appropriate level of knowledge” as determined by the court to testify on that subject. In short, plaintiff attorneys can no longer have experts on retainer to testify on a wide range of specialties.

How Georgia Demographics Will Impact Physicians

According to the United States Census Bureau, Atlanta has been the fastest-growing city in the nation since 2000, with a gain of nearly 900,000 residents to 5.1 million, and statewide, Georgia ranks in the top five fastest-growing populations. In addition, Atlanta is home to the fastest-growing millionaire population, which is anticipated to increase 69 percent through 2011, to approximately 103,000 households with more than $1 million or more in investable assets.

While Georgia ranks ninth in U.S. population, it ranks 39th in total physicians per 100,000 citizens. On average, only about one-third of the state's medical school graduates stay in Georgia to complete their residency training.

While this doctor-to-population ratio evidences that the citizens of Georgia have had above-average difficulty in access to healthcare, it also indicates a range of viable practice and specialty opportunities are available to physicians. In short, new practices are being courted and encouraged.

These practice opportunities are especially positive for bilingual, Spanish-speaking physicians, as Georgia boasts the third fastest-growing Latino community in the country.

Financial Incentives for New Doctors in Georgia

The state of Georgia has several programs aimed at alleviating doctor shortages in its most rural areas, including a medical student loan repayment program where recently-graduated physicians can reduce their loan debt by $25,000 each year—up to four years—by serving in a county with less than 35,000 people.

Physician Reimbursement

As is the case in most states nationwide, Georgia physicians complain that Medicare/Medicaid as well as private insurer reimbursement rates do not keep pace with inflation and ever-increasing overhead costs-of-doing-business.

Medicaid reimbursement for physicians in the state currently ranks below the national average, but the Governor's Medicaid reimbursement rates for the fiscal year 2009 include a cost coverage increase from 95.1 percent to 98.6 percent for hospital inpatient services and 100 percent of cost for outpatient services. In fiscal 2009, $39.6 million will go towards increasing Medicaid reimbursement rates; nursing homes will receive $17.6 million in reimbursements for capital upgrades; and an additional $31.3 million is appropriated to upgrade the state’s mental health facilities and community mental health system.

Latest Medical Malpractice Insurance News from Georgia

May 11, 2011
Gov. Nathan Deal signed into law an amendment to Georgia's Patient Right to Know Act of 2001 giving a patient the right to inquire as to whether the physician carries medical malpractice insurance. In addition, whether a doctor licensed in Georgia carries medical malpractice insurance will also be included as part of their physician profile publicly available through the Georgia Composite Medical Board website. Currently, physicians practicing in Georgia are not required to carry malpractice insurance.

House Bill 147 was sponsored by State Rep. Ben Watson.

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