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Another story today adds to the mounting evidence that medical malpractice suits are in decline and that medical malpractice insurance costs are headed downward.

In Baltimore, Maryland, a consent order settlement has been reached between the State and the largest medical malpractice insurance carrier, Medical Mutual Liability Insurance Society, which will result in the return of excess medical malpractice premiums of nearly $100 million charged since 2005.

In 2004, Med Mutual raised malpractice rates by 28-33%. Doctors rallied in Annapolis in protest, resulting in an emergency legislative session during the Christmas week of 2004, which resulted in the creation of a special state subsidy. Now it turns out that the forecast of increasing lawsuits and litigation payouts was overblown, and Med Mutual, which had received about three-quarters of the money paid out, has agreed to return about $72 million and forego about $12 million in subsidy this year. Another $14 million will be credited to physicians Med Mutual insures.

Forbes’ online story about the settlement quotes the Maryland insurance commissioner, Ralph Tyler, attributes the decline in medical malpractice lawsuits were dropping, due to”improved practices by health-care providers, legislative reforms and the cyclical nature of the insurance industry.”

For more information on this subject, please refer to the section on Medical Malpractice and Negligent Care.

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