Earlier this month, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that caps on non-economic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits were unconstitutional. In doing so, the Court also invalidated the 2005 medical malpractice regulatory reforms that were contained in the Act. This is due to an inseverability provision in the Act that invalidates the entire Act should a provision be struck down. An article in the Southtown Star notes the Supreme Court asked medical malpractice insurers to continue to comply with the 2005 medical malpractice regulatory reforms in its decision, emphasizing that their real target was malpractice caps.
According to a news release by the Illinois Department of Insurance, the 2005 changes improved reporting among medical malpractice insurers in the state. It also created a more transparent environment where insurance information such as filings and rate information is readily available to the public. The Department also noted decreases in medical malpractice insurance premiums and more competition among a great number of companies.
The Department asks medical malpractice insurers to continue to act in accordance with the 2005 regulatory reforms to provide stable and affordable medical malpractice insurance. Among its requests, the Department asks insurance companies to continue responding to the Department’s requests for information about how rates are set and also asks insurers to continue providing base rates and lists of agents. Additionally, the Department calls upon medical malpractice insurers to continue offering discounts to physicians who voluntarily join in risk management. Follow the link to read the entire news release from the Illinois Department of Insurance on complying with medical malpractice reforms.