The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, District II
ACOG Applauds Governor Cuomo's Vision:
Calls for Strengthening of
Women's Health Care
Issues Statement on the State of the State Address January 5, 2011
The New York State Chapter of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG District II) commends New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo for his commitment to economic development, bipartisanship and health care as indicated in today's State of the State address.
However, ACOG District II would like to remind Governor Cuomo that the medical liability climate continues to threaten the ability of obstetricians and gynecologists to provide health care to New York's women. According to the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY), between 2002 and 2007 the cost of doing business in the state increased 63-72% for ob-gyns. In addition, skyrocketing medical liability premiums and the fear of litigation have caused many ob-gyns in New York to make significant changes to their practices, including early retirement, dropping high-risk obstetrics, eliminating obstetric services altogether, increasing caesarean section rates, and decreasing the number of babies they deliver.
When compared to the nation as a whole, it has become considerably more expensive to practice obstetrics in New York State. The Medical Care Services Inflation Index indicates that in 2007-2008 New York ob-gyns paid an average annual premium of $100,558. That number continues to rise. In Nassau and Suffolk counties the average cost of liability insurance premiums from one malpractice carrier is approximately $186,774. In addition, liability premiums nationally account for an average of 11% of an ob-gyn's total operating costs. However, ob-gyns in Rockland County New York can expect their liability premiums to consume 29% of their operating costs, and 38% of their total revenue.
ACOG District II supports a medical liability reform measure that would lower liability premiums and create a compensatory fund, similar to worker's compensation for neurologically impaired infants. The concept of a neurologically impaired infant program began and was championed by former Health Commissioner David Axelrod and Governor Mario Cuomo in 1991. The compensatory fund would provide neurologically impaired infants with necessary medical care and financial assistance. The life long program beginning at birth, would provide support over and beyond what any current public health program could provide, and with far greater speed and efficiency then the lengthy and protracted tort system.
ACOG District II looks forward to working with the Cuomo administration to ensure relief for physicians from skyrocketing medical liability costs and to guarantee that patients and their families receive care and services seamlessly and expeditiously.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, District II (ACOG) represents the board certified obstetrician-gynecologists in the state who deliver health care to New York's women. Our Albany office offers the New York State Legislature its resources as a scientific and educational organization dedicated to quality health care for women. If you have questions on this or any other state legislative proposal, please contact Donna Montalto, Executive Director, 518-369-7536 (cell).
Please visit us at www.acogny.org.