Apr 8, 2011

Vermont House Health Care Bill Includes Closer Look at Med Mal Reform

The Addison County Independent reporting on groundbreaking legislation passed by Vermont House for a single-payer health care system mentions that house bill 202 will also "examine reforms to Vermont’s medical malpractice system..." See the full article: House OKs health care bill with local support.

Apr 1, 2011

Vermont Medical Liability/Malpractice Laws

The National Conference of State Legislatures website summarizes the medical liability and malpractice laws by state. The chart is updated as of September 2010. It documents:
  • Damage Award Limits or Cap
  • Statute of Limitation
  • Joint and Several Liability
  • Limits on Attorney Fees
  • Periodic Payments
  • Patient Compensasion or Injury Fund
  • Doctor Apologies/Sympathetic Gestures
  • Pre-trial Alternative Dispute Resolution and Screening Panels
  • Affidavit or Certificate of Merit
  • Expert Witness Standards
  • Medical or Peer Review Panels
Click here to view Vermont's Medical Liability and Malpractice Laws.

Mar 29, 2011

Insure.com Ranks Vermont as Least Costly State for Car Insurance Rates

Foster City, CA March 14, 2011 – Insure.com released a national survey today of car insurance rates by state. The rankings reveal above-average rates in Michigan, Louisiana and Oklahoma and lower-than-average car insurance premiums in Vermont and South Carolina. Surprisingly, a consumer’s driving record is not always the biggest factor in determining prices. Instead, Insure.com found that a number of non-driver-related factors have a significant effect on the average cost of car insurance for consumers in different states.

The percentage of uninsured drivers in a given state, along with other factors like weather and state insurance laws, are in large part what determine the average cost of auto insurance premiums.

According to Amy Danise, senior managing editor of Insure.com,
“We often think of car insurance prices strictly in terms of our own personal details, like our driving record and our coverage amount, but Insure.com’s rankings demonstrate how factors like state laws and the judicial system can be the driving force behind high rates.”
Michigan holds the spot as the most expensive place for auto insurance because it’s the only state that guarantees unlimited personal injury protection payments by law, which is very costly for insurance companies. Louisiana is the second most expensive state because of its judicial system, which generally favors individuals--meaning that insurance companies tend to lose in court, again driving up costs for insurers. By comparison, a representative driver in Vermont pays 87 percent less for insurance coverage than the same driver in Michigan because of the lower level of traffic congestion in Vermont and the large number of insurers competing for business.

Mar 17, 2011

Vermont Law Makers Mull Med Mal Reform

An Associated Press report in several news outlets indicates that Vermont legislators are seriously considering medical malpractice reform as a way to lower health care costs.
"In debates over health care reform both at the state and federal level, the issue of medical malpractice claims often gets raised, with a particular focus on the defensive medicine doctors are said to perform to prevent potential lawsuits."
The AP reported the chairman of the Judiciary Committee is recommending a study of the malpractice system as a way to lower costs..

Feb 23, 2011

Helmet Safety Advocacy Starts in VT

Dr. Robert Williams, founder of the nonprofit group PHAT (“Protect Your Head At All Times’’), is the helmet safety advocate from Vermont Children's Hospital behind PHAT helmet program...
Williams making headway - The Boston Globe

Feb 22, 2011

Heavy Trucks Forced Back onto Vermont Back Roads

Bloomberg news service carries news story about a traffic laws that force heavy trucks off the interstate to use back roads to pass through small towns across Maine and Vermont. The article reports...
"A pilot project that allowed trucks weighing up to 100,000 pounds onto interstate highways in the two states ended in December, forcing trucks filled with petroleum, gravel, paper products and other heavy loads back onto state roads that pass through residential areas and business districts."
To read the full article, click on: Bloomberg Heavy Trucks.

Jan 30, 2011

17 Medical Malpractice Claims Paid in Vermont in 2009

According to data compiled by StateHealthFacts.org, a website of the Henery J. Kaiser Family Foundation, there were 17 medical malpractice claims paid in Vermont in 2009 for a total of $6,845,000 — that's an average of $402,647 for paid claims. Vermont ranked 46th in the nation for total paid claims. In 2008, Vermont ranked 45th with $10,908,550 in total claims paid. For more state health data on Vermont, see: Vermont State Health Facts.