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Fighting Mad Doctors in Pennslyvania organize for protest against malpractice insurance gouging
Politically Active Physicians Association ^ | 4-10-03 | Bones McCoy

Posted on 05/10/2003 7:41:45 AM PDT by bonesmccoy

Fighting mad doctors are fed up with Democrats screwing with the lives of the American people. Published on this website are the names and specialties of physicians and surgeons who have been driven from their practices by the abuse of malpractice insurance companies.

Mr. Gephardt and the other DNC Presidential candidates appeared with George Stephanopoulos conducting a panel forum last week. Several of the candidates stated that they wanted to create a new nationalized healthcare system (as if HillaryCare wasn't a failure enough!).

While the DNC candidates promise "free healthcare" to the voters, the reality is that HMO insurance companies that preferentially send money to the DNC and RAT candidates are responsible for needless death and suffering.

Furthermore, the malpractice insurance companies are engaging in illegal conduct and are forcing physicians out of practice (in order to permit control of medical services by DNC aligned HMOs).

Those of you in Pennsylvania need to keep an eye on the "fightingdocs" of Philadelphia who appear to be making an effort to defend quality of care for the American people.


TOPICS: Activism/Chapters; Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Extended News; Free Republic; Front Page News; Government; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Pennsylvania
KEYWORDS: healthcare; insurance; malpracticefees
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Most of this list has been provided by Donna Baver Rovito, the Legislative Chair of the Pennsylvania Medical Society Alliance. Thank you, Donna!

Please e-mail us with those doctors who you know belong on this list.

The following list features the names, specialties, and other information about many excellent Pennsylvania doctors, many of whom aren't Pennsylvania doctors anymore. Many have left the state or retired early. Others have limited their practices to reduce their malpractice expenses to a more affordable level. They're not statistics. They're talented and dedicated people who have provided a valuable and irreplaceable service to the citizens of Pennsylvania. And not only are they gone, but we can't replace them because young doctors have gotten the word that Pennsylvania is a really bad place to practice medicine. Both hospitals and physician groups are unable to compete for the best medical minds of the future. Further, studies of residency program graduates indicate that about 80% of the young physicians trained in Pennsylvania's world-class hospitals are leaving the state for greener and less litigious pastures.

This list is by no means complete; it was culled from a newspaper and magazine articles, e-mail requests for information to hospitals, group practices, medical specialty associations and independent physicians throughout the state for whom e-mail addresses could be obtained. There is, unfortunately, no central location where departing or retiring doctors must report their departure or to which hospitals must report cutbacks. Some physicians have sought public announcement of their plight; others have left quietly. These are probably in the majority. So the following list is not intended to serve as a "count" of the physicians who have stopped practicing in Pennsylvania due to the malpractice crisis or a complete compilation of the hospital services which have been curtailed. What it IS intended to do, however, is to put some real names to otherwise nameless claims that Pennsylvania is losing some of its finest physicians, to put real names to what reform opponents are calling "anecdotes about one or two doctors." It is also a loosely connected series of examples of a downward trend affecting Pennsylvania's hospitals as they attempt to provide quality care in an atmosphere of reduced reimbursements and soaring malpractice premiums.

Here are just some of those we've lost, listed by counties for which we were able to locate information (37 of 67 counties), along with hospital reports and other pertinent information. This is a small sampling. There was no available information for unlisted counties but that doesn't mean they haven't lost doctors or services; it simply means they haven't responded to this survey. More intensive long-term study will likely yield additional results. (Updated March 26, 2003)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Allegheny County: General Surgeon George Benz, Forbes Hospital, retired early. Orthopedic Surgeon Lou Glasso and two surgical associates are retiring from medicine. General Surgeon Christopher Daly, St. Francis Hospital, gave up clinical practice for administrative position. ENT Surgeon Stephen Froman has stopped doing facial trauma and high-risk endoscopic sinus surgery. General Surgeon Charles Hauessner, St. Margaret's Hospital, UPMC, retired early. ENT Helen Krause gave up surgery in the fall and is considering early retirement. ENT Duane Martin left Pittsburgh in March. Only one of the past four graduates of the Vascular fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Health System has remained in Pennsylvania, and she is married to the Chairman of the Department, according to Chief of the Division of Vascular Surgery Michael S. Makaroun. Cardiovascular Disease Specialist Jospeh Hakas has relocated to North Carolina. Orthopedic Surgeon Thomas Hasbach has left the area. Orthopedic Surgeon Norman Krause has relocated to New York. General Surgeon Michael McCafferty has relocated to Kentucky. Neurosurgeon Dr. Nyak, Pittsburgh and surrounding communities, retired abruptly in August, 2002, citing liability issues as a factor. Orthopedic surgeon Mary Lynn Scovazzo has relocated to Washington.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bedford County: Ob-Gyn Jean Ann Bialas moved to Cumberland, MD in 2001 to save $50,000 in premiums. The county's only orthopaedic surgeon left PA in October, 2001, according to the PA Orthopaedic Society. Family Practitioner Sandra Cromo has stopped practicing medicine. Gastroenterologist Pamela Reed, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, has relocated to Kentucky. Pain Management Specialist William Sutherland has relocated to the South. Ob/Gyn Dennis English, Magee-Women Hospital, will stop delivering babies at the end of November, 2002 after 22 years.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Berks County: Ob/Gyn John Anderson, Reading Hospital, retired at the age of 59. Anesthesiologist Chris Berg, Reading Hospital, is leaving for Florida. Ob/Gyn John Bower, Reading Hospital, took early retirement. Family Practitioner Benson Chin, St. Joseph Medical Center, left PA. Ophthalmologist Eric Farber, St. Joseph Medical Center, left PA. ENT Surgeon Edward Gabalski, Reading Hospital, left PA for New York. Neurosurgeon Eric Holm has given up all surgery. Pulmonary Medicine and Rehabilitation Specialist David Kim, St. Joseph Medical Center, left PA. Pulmonary Disease Specialist Edward Michel, St. Joseph Medical Center, left PA. Occupational/Rehabilitation Specialist Vernon Morris, St. Joseph Medical Center, left PA. Anesthesiologist Leena Paul, St. Joseph Medical Center, left PA. Pulmonary Specialist John Shuman of Reading retired early. Pulmonary Specialist Gio Torri left Reading for New York. Anesthesiologist Manuel Uribe, St. Joseph Medical Center, left PA. General Surgeon Franklin M. Wolfe retired, placing the following ad in the local newspaper: "It is with deepest regret that I announce that I am retiring from surgery due to the exorbitantly high cost of malpractice insurance." Anesthesiologist Emad Younan, St. Joseph Medical Center, left PA. Following receipt of a malpractice bill for $106,000, a Berks county general surgeon was forced to retire. Family Practitioner Alison Dietrich has relocated to California. Family Practitioner Ethan Dietrich has relocated to New York. Ob/Gyn David Hoffman closed his Ob/Gyn and infertility practice Dec. 2, 2002. Internist Jim Hu is leaving Pennsylvania.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bradford County: Ob/Gyn Robert Berk left practice at end of March, 2002.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bucks County: Orthopedic Surgeon Tom Beck moved to Ocean City, Maryland, where his malpractice premium dropped from $103,000 to around $30,000. His three-surgeon group also closed its Northeast Philadelphia office. Ob/Gyn Steven Block, Sellersville, has drpped OB. Orthopedic Surgeon Francis Boland retired on 12/31/01 in the wake of his cancellation by Clarendon Insurance. General Surgeon Wade Bollinger of Doylestown Surgical Associates moved to Missouri. Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Bromberg, Warminster, has stopped operating in Bucks County. Vascular Surgeon T. Wistar Brown, Quakertown, retired. Orthopedic Surgeon Douglas Boylan, of the three-member group Doylestown Orthopedic Specialists, was forced to give up surgery, along with his two associates, after receiving a malpractice premium increase of 160% to $184,000 per doctor. The Centre for Women's Health, Langhorne, is no longer accepting new OB patients due to the loss of insurance coverage from St. Paul Insurance as of June 1, 2002. The eight Ob/Gyns, according to Dr. Neil Bluebond has delivered an average of 800 babies each year. Previously, two of seven physicians had given up OB to save on premiums. Orthopedic Surgeon Martin Cohen moved his practice to Bethlehem, PA. Ob/Gyn Elizabeth Crowe, Bristol, relocated the majority of her practice to New Jersey. Radiologist Charles DePena, Upper Bucks Radiology, on staff at Grandview Hospital, is relocating to Iowa, citing malpractice premiums as the reason for his decision. The group has been unsuccessfully attempting to recruit additional radiologists for some time. Ob/Gyn Eileen Engel will establish a gyn-only independent practice, with no obstetrics and no surgery, in Warrington, following the closure of her five-physician group, Engel, Smith and Associates, citing malpractice premiums as the primary reason for the closure. General Surgeon Irwin Franklin, Warminster, retired. Orthopedic Surgeon Victor Frankel, Warminster, stopped doing surgery. ENT Specialists John and Judy Gallagher are having difficulty recruiting additional ENTs to their practice due to high liability and low reimbursements. Orthopedic Surgeon Gregory Gallant, of the three-member group Doylestown Orthopedic Specialists, was forced to give up surgery, along with his two associates, after receiving a malpractice premium increase of 160% to $184,000 per doctor. General Surgeon Ruth George, Quakertown, relocated to Bethlehem. Orthopedic Surgeon Kevin Gingrich, Langhorne, relocated. Psychiatrist Harvey Itskowitz, Lower Bucks County, relocated. Orthopedic Surgeon Thomas Javian retired. General Surgeon Subhash Karnik, Warminster, retired. Orthopedic Surgeon Robert Levenberg, Warminster, has stopped operating. Ophthalmologist Mark Levitan, Lower Bucks County, relocated. Pulmonologist Lorie Loreman, Doylestown, moved to Arizona. Ob/Gyn Dane Anne Lovell, Doylestown Hospital, of the five-member group Engel, Smith and Associates, one of the largest Ob/Gyn practices in Central Bucks County, will move to Ohio in September, citing malpractice premium increases as the reason for her departure. The practice will close October 20, 2002. Orthopedic Surgeon Stephen Lowe, Lower Bucks County, has stopped operating and closed the NE Philadelphia office of his three-surgeon practice. General Surgeon Gregory Lynch, Lower Bucks County, relocated. Psychiatrist Satyen Madkaiker, Lower Bucks County, relocated. Ob/Gyn Irene Magran, Doylestown Hospital, of the five-member group Engel, Smith and Associates, one of the largest Ob/Gyn practices in Central Bucks County, is finalizing plans to leave PA as her practice closes October 20, 2002, citing malpractice premium increases and expiring coverage as reasons. General Surgeon Roderick McKee, Lower Bucks County, moved to Connecticut. Vascular Surgeon Norman Miller, Lower Bucks County, relocated. Ob/Gyn John Missanelli, Bristol, stopped delivering babies on June 1, 2002, and 70 current OB patients were forced to find another OB. Since 1973, Dr. Missanelli has delivered about 10,000 babies in Bucks County. Previously, he had moved the bulk of his practice to Roncocas, NJ, where he was paying 64,000 a year for malpractice insuranceone half of what he'd been paying in PA. Family Practitioner Robert O'Reilly, Upper Southampton, and wife, an RN, moved to Maine following 19 years in Bucks County, a double loss to Doylestown Hospital. Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. David Pashman of Warminster has stopped operating. Middletown Ob/Gyn Dr. David Podransky, St. Mary's Medical Center, will close his 18 year-old practice, which delivers about 175 babies each year, and has taken no salary since March to pay $9,500 /month in malpractice premiums. For a time, Dr. Podransky and 12 associates worked second jobs at St. Mary's Medical Center to earn enough money to cover their malpractice premiums. Dr. Scott Price, President of the Bucks County Medical Society, cannot recruit residents to join his practice and has experienced a 300% increase in malpractice premiums in the past three years despite never having had a lawsuit filed against him. Neurosurgeon Murray Robinson, Warminster, moved to New Jersey. Internist Jim Rogers, Quakertown, moved to Florida. Emergency Department Director Kathleen Roeder took early retirement from clinical practice 2/28/02 when the PHICO insolvency forced her group to find renewal coverage in 30 days at nearly triple the cost. Cardiologist Amy Scally, Sellersville, moved to New Jersey. Psychiatrist Michael Schwartz, Lower Bucks County, relocated. Neurosurgeon Joseph Scogna stopped operating at St. Mary's Trauma Center, Middletown, due to premium increase from $100,000 in 2001 to $400,000 in 2002. He continues to operate at other hospitals. General Surgeon Mubarik Shah, Langhorne, retired. Orthopedic Surgeon Carl Simons, Penndel, moved to Minnesota. Ob/Gyn Tony Smith, Doylestown Hospital, of the five-member group Engel, Smith and Associates, one of the largest Ob/Gyn practices in Central Bucks County, will move to the midwest in October, citing premium increases from $51,000 to $121,000 over the past two years and expiring coverage as reasons. The practice will also close October 20, 2002. Orthopedic Surgeon Barry Snyder, Levittown, Chief of Orthopedics at Temple Lower Bucks Hospital and on staff at St. Mary's Medical Center, has limited his practice to operating only one day a week instead of three to reduce his premium by approximately $30,000 to $56,000. Orthopedic Surgeon Herbert Stein, Lower Bucks County, has stopped operating. Stoneridge Ob/Gyn Associates, the largest practice affiliated with Sellersville's Grand View Hospital, was forced to get insurance through a 12-hospital consortium at a 50% increase, or $100,000 per doctor, when its insurer decided to pull out of Southeastern PA. Ob/Gyn Wendy Warner and six associates are limiting their OB practice solely to St. Mary's Medical Center. Orthopedic Surgeon J. Michael Whitaker, of the three-member group Doylestown Orthopedic Specialists, was forced to give up surgery, along with his two associates, after receiving a malpractice premium increase of 160% to $184,000 per doctor. Family Practitioner Jeff Wilkins, Upper Bucks County, has given up clinical practice and accepted a position with a pharmaceutical company. Ob/Gyn Richard Baker has closed his Quakertown office, relocated to Bethlehem and given up obstetrics. Orthopedic Surgeon Douglas Boylan, of the three- member group Doylestown Orthopedic Specialists, was forced to give up surgery for three weeks, along with his two associates, after receiving a liability premium increase of 160% to $184,000 per doctor. The group was forced to sign with the JUA for coverage with assistance from the hospital, which wanted to provide better orthopedic coverage in the ER. Ob/Gyn Irwin Friedman, Langhorne, retired early. Family Practitioner Rebecca Haggard is relocating to Idaho. Orthodpedic Surgeon Robert Liebenberg, Levittown, has stopped doing surgery. Radiologist Michael Miller relocated to Maine. Radiologist Robert Miller relocated to North Carolina. Neurosurgeon David Pagnanelli, Doyletown, has relocated. Internist Jim Rogers, Quakertown, moved to Florida. Radiation Oncologist Barbara Schlager, Director of Radiation Oncology at St. Mary 's Reginal Cancer Center, retired early five days before her 55th birthday, citing the medical malpractice crisis in a letter in the local newspaper as one fo the main reasons for her early retirement. Ob/Gyn D. Schwartzman, Quakertown, has dropped obstetyrics and relocated to Bethlehem. Trauma Surgeon Sidney Vail, Director of the Trauma Center at St. Mary's Medical Center, relocated to Virginia. Physician Medicine and Rehabilitation Specialist Blackshear Bryan, Doylestown Hospital, relocated to Montana on Jan. 1, 2003 in search of more physician-friendly environment with lower costs and better reimbursement Orthopedic Surgeon Frank Cruce, Frankford and St. Mary Hospitals, has moved to N. Carolina after 30 years of practice in Langhorne, due to a premium increase from $95,000 in 2002 to $140,000 in 2003, despite having no lawsuits filed against him. Orthopedic Surgeon William Johnson, Frankford and St. Mary Hospitals, has moved to north Carolina after 30 years of practice in Langhorne, due to a premium increase from $95,000 in 2002 to $140,000 in 2003, despite having no lawsuits filed against him. Family Practitioner Richard Price retired prematurely. ENT Matthew Blum, Grandview Hospital, has retired early. Rehabilitation Specialist Bryan Blackshear is relocating to Montana in the Spring of 2003. Central Bucks Pediatricians group, Doylestown, is no longer performing well visits on children over the age of two due to the liability crisis. Orthopedic Surgeon Frank Cuce, Frankford and St. Mary Hospitals, is moving to N. Carolina, along with his partner, due to a premium increase from $95,000 in 2002 to $140,000 in 2003, despite having no lawsuits filed against him. General Surgeon Bruce Derrick, Doylestown Hospital, will have no alpractice insurance as of Jan. 1, 2003, and therefore cannot operate.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Cambria County: Pathologist Stephen T. Bush, who had for years of semi-retirement accepted requests to provide temporary pathology services for small hospitals, has been forced to discontinue providing these services "due to the unreasonable risks of malpractice claims and increased in malpractice insurance premiums," and has limited his professional activity to providing expert testimony and case reviews in workers' compensation claims.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Carbon County: Dr. Cheryl Lipson, president of the Carbon County Medical Society, has been unsuccessfully attempting to recruit young physicians to her practice. Ob/Gyn Satish Nayak, Palmerton Hospital, has cut back his practice to part-time and was forced to close his office in Tamaqua (Schuylkill County) last year due to premium increases from $20,000 10 years ago, to $50,000 in 2001, to an estimated $75,000 in 2002. OB/Gyn Alessandro Boschi, Palmerton Hospital's only fulltime obstetrician, was forced to finance his malpractice premium in 2001, the first time he had to do so in his 13 years in practice.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Centre County: Family Practitioner Stephen Pandolph can no longer accept patients who may end up in a nursing home. Ob/Gyn Gerald Clair has given up obstetrics and gynecological surgery. ER Physician Randy Payne, Port Matilda, has given up medicine due to constant threats of malpractice.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Chester County: Dermatologist Alice Androkites, Paoli, moved to Maine. ENT Eric Carlson, Chester County Hospital/Fitz Mercy Hospital, has retired. Family Practitioner John Carlson, Chester County Hospital, has moved to Texas. Urologist Joseph Conti, Paoli Hospital, has left PA. Last year. Dr. Conti resigned from S. Chester Medical Center staff to continue practicing at other area hospitals due to impossible workload and inability to recruit a urologist associate. ENT David Cunningham, Phoenixville Hospital and Bryn Mawr Hospital, moved to North Carolina. Family Practitioner Stew Foreman, Phoenixville Hospital, moved to Florida. GI Specialist Andrei Gasic, Phoenixville Hospital, moved to Texas. Internist Giselle Geddes, Chester County Hospital, has retired. Longtime Ob/Gyn Corazon Gemil stopped delivering babies. ENT Tim Heffron, Phoenixville Hospital, moved to North Carolina. Ob/Gyn Dr. Hendrzak, Paoli Hospital, is leaving in July, 2002. Internist Dwight Johnson, Chester County Hospital, has moved to Delaware. Internist Kevin Kearns, has left practice to take a position at a hospital. Urologist Dr. Deborah Kulp resigned from S. Chester Medical Center staff to continue practicing at other area hospitals due to impossible workload and inability to recruit a urologist associate. Ob/Gyn Christine Lyon has given up urogynecology. ENT Specialist Dr. Muggee, Phoenixville Hospital, moved to Connecticut. Ob/Gyn Jane Porcelan, Paoli Hospital, has stopped delivering babies. Internist Diane Rissane, Chester County Hospital, has left private practice and taken a job at the VA. Cardiologist Rick Samaha, Phoenixville Hospital, left Chester County, took a job at the Philadelphia VA Hosp. Cardiologist Joe Stoffer, Paoli, left PA. Valley Forge Ob/Gyn Associatesone member of six doctor staff stopped delivering babies. Valley Forge Ob/Gyn Associatesone member of six doctor staff went to work for a pharmaceutical firm. Valley Forge Ob/Gyn Associatesone member of six doctor staff left clinical practice completely. General Surgeon Phil Waldor, Phoenixville Hospital, moved to Texas. Ob/Gyn Candace Walters, Phoenixville Hospital, moved to Maine. Orthopedic Surgeon Michael Ward, Chester County Hospital, has retired. Ob/Gyn Donald Wilson, Brandywine Regional Medical Center, has left medicine. Family Practitioner Mary Wirship, Chester County Hospital, has taken a position with a non-profit organization. Paul Davis, MD cardiac surgeon left Paoli memorial Hospital for Delaware because of malpractice costs. Daniel Beninati, MD has given up obstetrics. Ronald Clauhs, MD has given up obstetrics. Amy Supnick, MD endocrinology, no longer practicing. Ob/Gyn Daniel Beninati has given up obstetrics. Ob/Gyn Ronald Clauhs has given up obstectrics. Cardiac Surgeon Paul Davis, Paoli Memorial Hopstial, moved to Delaware. Barch, Frank, Pulmonary, moved to Virginia because of liability insurance. Dua, Jay, Anesthesia, died and nobody is available to replace the doctor. Fowler, Sara, ENT, moved to Iowa because of liability insurance. Giamontoni, Carlo, General and Trauma Surgery, moved to Maine because of liability insurance. Marschant, Fran, ENT, no longer does surgery because of liability insurance. Murr, George, General Surgeon, after 22 years went to California because of liability insurance. Ottinger, Marlana, Radiation Oncology, moved to Maryland because of liability insurance. Roberson, Elisabeth, General Surgeon took a job with the New York VA to not have to deal with med mal. Wolf, Charles, Orthopedics, retired with no replacement because of liability insurance. Easter, Dennis, OB/GYN moved to Indiana due to low pay and high malpractice. Wasserman, Barry, Opth, moved to New Jersey. Dellevigne, William, General Surgery, retired early. Hoberman, Maury, ENT, retired. Lovrinic, William, ENT, retired. Radiologist James Holstein, chief of staff at Brandywine Hospital, notes that his radiology group cannot recruit young physicians. Hand Surgeon Razaullah Khwaja, Jennersville Regional Hospital, will be doing most of his surgery in Maryland and limiting services to PA patients. General Surgeon Elisabeth Robinson, Brandywine Hospital, former chair of the trauma department, took a job with the VA in New York so she would no longer have to deal with medical malpractice issues.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Clearfield County: General Surgeon Michael T. Dotsey, Clearfield Hospital, retired July 1, 2002, from a thriving practice at the age of 55 because of insurance cost. General Surgeon Tim Phillips, Clearfield Hospital, Dr. Dotsey's associate, was forced to resign his position as 6th District Trustee for the PA Medical Society in order to cover the additional workload. Ob/Gyn Praxido Tagala, Clearfield Hospital, was forced to give up obstetrics.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Clinton County: Internist Keith Adams forced to close private practice in Lock Haven and took position in ER of Bradford Regional Medical Center; has applied for licensure in other states and is seriously considering leaving.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Columbia County: Dr. Albert Alley retired early. Dr. Francis Bobeck retired early. Ob/Gyn Marion Brown, Bloomsburg Hospital, is retiring after 8,000 births, citing malpractice premiums as one of the reasons for her retirement. Dr. Jennifer Stebbing retired early. Orthopedic Surgeon Peter Terhaar, Berwick and Bloomsburg Hospitals, has moved to New York. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Crawford County: Family Practitioner j. Henry Burkholder, Meadville medical Center, who had been delivering babies for more than 15 years, retired in his 50's due to the worsening malpractice crisis. Family Practitioner Randy Edwards, who also delivered babies, Meadville Medical Center, stopped doing obstetrics. Family Practitioner Thomas Mitchell, who also delivered babies, Meadville Medical Center, stopped doing obstetrics. Ob/Gyn Ronald Vrablic, Meadville medical Center, eliminated obstetrics last year and now does only part-time gynecology.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Cumberland County: Orthopedic Institute of Pennsylvania,Camp Hill, reports the retirement of two surgeons and relocation of another due to the medical malpractice crisis, and sent letters to their patients near the end of July indicating regret for delays in services; however, they've been unsuccessful in recruiting new surgeons to the group as a result of Pennsylvania's malpractice situation. Orthopedic Surgeon Mark Grubb has left PA. ENT Burton Cohn retired early in September, 2002 and notes that his two remaining associates have been unable to replace him despite a 2-3 year national search.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Dauphin County: Physicians for Women's Health, Camp Hill - 10 Ob/Gyn physicians serving 25,000 active patients were almost forced to close their practice on Feb. 15, 2002 because they couldn't get insurance. Recently, they were able to obtain insurance, but only six members of the group continue to deliver babies. Ob/Gyn Leslie Adams, Pinnacle Health and Holy Spirit Hospital, has cut back his practice due to liability concerns. Ob/Gyn Chris Carey, PSU Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, moved to Phoenix, AZ August 1, 2001. Ob/Gyn John B. Goedecke, Physicians for Womens' Health, Camp Hill, has decided to retire and two other members of the group are considering leaving Pennsylvania. Ob/Gyn David Halbert, PSU Milton Hershey Medical Center, has given up OB. Orthopedic Surgeon James Hamsher has retired prematurely due to an outrageous malpractice tail charge. Ob/Gyn Nichole Hoenicke, PSU Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, moved to St. Louis June 25, 2002. Ob/Gyn Joseph Patruno, PSU Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, moved his practice to Delaware. Ob/Gyn Richard Pees, PSU Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, has given up OB. Neurosurgeon Steve Powers, Chief of Neurosurgery at the PSU Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, along with another neurosurgeon colleague, left practice at Hershey on June 30, 2002. Cardiothoracic Surgeon Benjamin Sun, PSU Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, left 7/1/02 to accept a position at Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, citing the malpractice/reimbursement climate as significant factors in his decision to leave PA. Neurosurgeon Chris Taleghani, recent graduate from PSU Milton S. Hershey's respected neurosurgery fellowship, is leaving PA due to the malpractice situation, and accepting a position in Kentucky, where his new employer is able to offer him set-up assistance and a salary guarantee, both of which most PA hospitals and groups can no longer afford to do Ob/Gyn Ellen Tourtelot, PSU Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, gave up OB April 1, 2002. Ob/Gyn Salena Zanotti, PSU Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, moved to Los Angeles June 24, 2002. Two Orthopedic Spine Surgeons left PSU Milton S. Hershey Medical Center on June 30, 2002. Three or four neurologists left PSU Milton S. Hershey Medical Center on June 30, 2002. Several general surgeons left PSU Milton S. Hershey Medical Center on June 30, 2002. The Chief of Neurosurgery at PSU Milton S. Hershey Medical Center reports that "none of my finishing residents since 1995 have stayed in this state" and residents graduating this year are leaving as well. Heritage Medical Group, a Harrisburg-based 10-physician surgical group, has been notified by its insurance carrier that it will not provide coverage for the group to perform morbid obesity procedures. The group had also considered opening a freestanding surgical center, but is unable to do so because it cannot obtain insurance, according to General Surgeon Joseph Esposito. Heritage Medical Group, Harrisburg, is unable to obtain commercial coverage at any price for three new family practitioners and one internist and was forced to obtain coverage through the JUA. Surgeon Joseph Esposito says their broker told them "no private insurance company will cover physicians new to PA." Ob/Gyn Ellen Tourtelot, PSU Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, gave up OB April 1, 2002. The former Chief of Neurosurgery of PSU Milton S. Hershey Medical Center reports that non of my finishing residents since 1995 have stayed in this state. Ob/Gyn Nichole Hoenicke, PSU Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, will relocate to St. Louis in June or July, 2003 , along with her husband, who is entering a CT surgery fellowship. Dr. Hoenicke is Hershey only pediatric/adolescent gynecologist. Pinnacle Health System notes that all five surgical residents who have graduated from its general surgical residency in the past two years have left Pennsylvania to practice.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Delaware County: Delaware County Medical Society Executive Director David McKeighan notes that since 1997, 17% of member doctors have left, and currently, they're losing six each month. Gastroenterologist Jeff Abrahms, Fitzgerald Mercy, moved to New Jersey August, 2000. Vascular and Renal Transplant Surgeon John Angstadt, head of transplant surgery at Lankenau and Bryn Mawr Hospitals, moved to Georgia, where his $180,000 premium dropped to $9,000. General Surgeon Arthur Baker retired early August 2001. Orthopedic Surgeon Fred Baldwini, of Wayne and Philadelphia, left for New Jersey. Cardiologist Philip Bhark, Taylor Hospital, moved to Massachusetts, November, 2000. Rheumatologist Anna Bueller at Riddle (Media), left Feb. 1 for job in industry. Dr. Nicholas Caputo, age 29, moved from Philadelphia to Arizona. General/Vascular Surgeon Kevin Claffey, Delaware County Memorial Hospital, Drexel Hill, moved to Kentucky in August, 2001. Orthopedic Surgeon Martin Coleman, Havertown, moved to Virginia July, 2002. Andrew Crell, DO, has applied for locum tenens work in Salem County, New Jersey beginning Jan. 1, 2002. Cardiologist Peter DeBatiste, left practice in 2001. Ob/Gyn Bob Del Rosario, left PA. Vascular Surgeon Orville Domingo, Fitzgerald Mercy Hospital, has taken a leave of absence until he can afford insurance. Rheumatologist Bonnie Dornworth, retired early. Ob/Gyn Stephen Emanual, of Marple Township, Lankenau and Wynnewood Hospitals, who previously gave up OB to reduce malpractice premiums, was forced to retire on May 30 after receiving an additional, unexpected malpractice increase which the practice could not afford to pay. He'd been in practice for 35 years. General Surgeon William Erb, Jr. retired early August 2001. Brenda Haines, MD, moved to North Jersey. Gastroenterologist Robert Hally, Delaware County Memorial and Fitzgerald Mercy, moved to Virginia Jan. 15, 2002. Ob/Gyn Christina Hammill, Bryn Mawr/Paoli, moved to Annapolis, Maryland. Anesthesiologist Mark Hammill, Bryn Mawr, moved to Annapolis, Maryland. Surgeon Scott Harrod, Crozer and Riddle Memorial Hospitals, moved to rural Illinois in November 2001. Ob/Gyn Tom Hartchuck, left PA. Gastroenterologist Anibal Herrara, Fitzgerald Mercy, retired early on Jan. 1, 2001 Orthopedic Surgeon Alan Hibberd, Fitzgerald Mercy, a member of Premiere Orthopedics, left for San Antonio, Texas in April, 2002. He is former president of the medical staff at Fitzgerald Mercy. Internist Stephen Hoey, Riddle Memorial Hospital, moved to New Jersey. Internist Anthony Iaccarion left practice to work in prison health. Internist Dennis Iaccarion left practice to work in prison health. Gastroenterologist Brian Jorgenson moved to Arizona. Endocrinologist Nicki Kelaporis, Fitzgerald Mercy, now practicing in Lancaster. ENT Mark Kelly, Drexel Hill Chester County Hospital/Delaware County Hospital, moved to New Hampshire in August, 2001. Neurologist Dr. King, at Penn (Radnor) moved to California. Orthopedic Surgeon Don Kovalsky, Premier Orthopedics, left practice November 1, 2001 and commutes to Illinois Monday - Thursday. Family Practitioner Joseph LaBriciossa, Springfield, left to practice in Delaware in August, 2002. Internist Madeline Long, Broomall and Bryn Mawr, retired early December 2001. Dermatologist Dolores Lucas, Springfield and West Grove, moved to Tennessee Jan. 1, 2002. Gastroenterologist Mike Lucey, moved to Wisconsin April, 2001. Main Line Health Systems reports that 19 of its 52 Ob/Gyn staff members stopped delivering babies in the past two years. Ob/Gyn Joilyn S. Martin, Riddle Memorial, moved to Fairfax, VA in May, 2001. Rheumatologist Martina Martin, Bryn Mawr, left PA. Internist Bernadette Meade, DO, Drexel Hill, left for Boston, MA on March 1, 2002. Oncologist/Hematologist Keith Mills, Drexel Hill, left March 1, 2002. ENT Surgeon Robert C. O'Reilly, Fitzgerald Mercy Hospital, is moving to practice at A.I. Dupont in Delaware in July, 2002. Family Practitioner Maria Pharr moved to Kingston, NC. Vascular Surgeon Tarkten Pharr moved to Kingston, NC. Premiere Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, a 16 physician orthopedic group which covers eight area hospitals, including Crozer Chester Medical Center, Springfield Hospital, Delaware County Memorial Hospital and Taylor Hospital, was forced to stop operating briefly in January until they obtained stopgap coverage, and may be forced to stop operating again when coverage runs out. Neurosurgeon Howard Richter of Haverford retired two years earlier than planned due to malpractice premiums; Dr. Richter currently serves as president of the Pennsylvania Medical Society. Hematologist/Oncologist Bob Roche, moved to Virginia. Pediatrician Dr. Rodzvilla has left clinical practice and has gone into research. Neurologist Joel Rutenberg, solo at Delaware County Memorial Hospital, is moving to Dover, Delaware in October, 2002, citing cost of liability insurance and poor reimbursement for his decision. Family Practitioner Charles Sanbe, DO, Aston, retired early on Jan. 1, 2001. Internist Linda Scarazinni, Drexel Hill left to work for a pharmaceutical company. Internist Mary Schubert, left Penn owned practice to work for Merck Pharmaceuticals. Ob/Gyn Ranjan R. Shah, Riddle, dropped OB Jan 1, 2002. Cardiologist Dick Schott has resigned as medical director for two retirement communities due to high risk and low reimbursement. Neurologist Paul Shipkin, Penn (Radnor), moved to California. Cardiologist John Shuck, Lankenau, is moving to Delaware in July, 2002. Pediatrician Ross Smith, Drexel Hill, left practice in 2000 to work for a pharmaceutical company. Ob/Gyn Gailyn Thomas, moved to Vermont in October, 2000. Ob/Gyn Vincent Vaccaro, Lankenau, left PA in 2000 due to malpractice costs. Orthopedic Surgeon Bruce Vanett, moved to Seaford, Delaware in February 2002. Ob/Gyn Greg Van Gundy, Lankenau, moved to Maine in December 2001. Family Practiioner Ira Weiner, Media, closed practice in June, 2002, to work at Physical Rehab Center in Broomall. Cardiothoracic/Vascular Surgeon Joseph Whitlark, Drexel Hill, moved to Kingston, North Carolina, August 2001. Gastroenterologist Victor Whitten, Riddle Memorial, left August, 2000. Ob/Gyn Patricia Williams, of Bryn Mawr/King of Prussia, accepted a position with a large pharmaceutical company. OB/GYN James Kiyak left Fitzgerald Mercy Hospital in August 2002. Relocated in Wisconsin after being in the same practice for 14 years. Dr. Harry Fallack plastic surgeon in King of Prussia- fed up with malpractice litigation (silicone breast implants and malpractice premiums), left practice of medicine to form a new start up cosmetic company. Dr. Joseph Labrociosa, family medicine is unable to get affordable malpractice insurance and left for the state of Delaware. General Surgeon Manoucher Asfhari will relocate to Maine November, 2002. Anesthesiologist Richard Batchelet, Crozer Chester Medical Center, relocated to Alexandria, VA. Plastic Surgeon Harry Fallack, King of Prussia, fed up with litigation and malpractice premiums left practice to form a new start-up cosmetic company. OB/Gyn James Kiyak, Fitzgerald Mercy Hospital, moved to Wisconsin in August, 2002 after being in the same practice for 14 years. Urologist Paul Reheis, Fitzgerald Mercy solo practitioner will move to Connecticut in October 2002. Anesthesiologist Archanna Sharma, Crozer Chester Medical Center, left to practice in Illinois after only seven months in PA. Boucher, Robert, ENT left Riddle and Crozer because of med mal. Fisher, Steven, ENT, no longer performs surgery because of liability insurance. Johnson, Philip, ENT, no longer performs surgery because of liability insurance. Sorkin, Hardy, Nephrologist, retired. Katz, Jamie, Pediatrics, no longefr practices, she is in her thirties. Primary Care Specialist Suzette Avetian, Delaware County Memorial Hospital, is leaving PA as of January 31, 2003, citing liability and low reimbursement problems. Internist Mark Blossom was forced to leave his practice in Kennett Square because of rising malpractice costs; he is now practicing in Montana. Cardiothoracic Surgeon James Finnegan, Crozer-Chester Medical Center, moved 80% of his practice from Delaware County to New Jersey but retained his PA medical license. ENT Douglas Mann, Delaware County Memorial, Riddle and Bryn Mawr Hospitals, is leaving PA. General Surgeon Robert McGarrigle, Springfield Hospital, is leaving PA. General Surgeon Manoucher Afshari left Delaware County for Maine, but retained his PA license. Urologist Samuel Allen was forced to limit his practice to part-time, non surgical. Gynecological Oncologist/Surgeon Randolph Deger left Delaware County for upstate New York, but retained his PA medical license. Ob/Gyn Bob Del Rosario, left PA. Neurosurgeon Hagop Derkorkorian left Delaware County for Delaware, but retained his PA medical license. Thoracic Surgeon James Finnegan moved his practice from Delaware County to New Jersey but retained his PA medical license. ENT Steven Fisher no longer performs surgery. General Surgeon Will Gerhard retired prematurely from Delaware County, but retained his PA medical license. Ob/Gyn Jerome Goldstein eliminated surgery and obstetrics from his Delaware County practice. General Surgeon Ned Russell retired prematurely from his Delaware County practice, but retained his PA medical license. General Surgeon Barbara Shotwell retired prematurely at the age of 38 but retained her PA medical license. Cardiologist John Shuck, Lankenau, is moving to Delaware in July, 2002. Vascular Surgeon Christopher Smith left Delaware County for Boston, but retained his PA medical license. Cardiologist Roger Weiner left Delaware County for Mississippi but retained his PA medical license.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Elk County: Orthopedic Surgeon Stephen Gick, St. Mary's Regional Medical Center, moved to Louisiana.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Erie County: The Erie County Medical Society reports a loss of over 100 physicians from Erie County in the past two years. Internist Steve Bowers gave up private practice and is now an ER doctor at Erie VA Hospital. Pain Management Specialist Thomas Falasca, closed his clinical practice July 18, 2002 due to financial pressures from soaring liability premiums and lower reimbursements, and will accept a teaching position at the medical school in Erie. The closure of Dr.Thomas Falasca's pain-management clinic leaves only two pain management specialists in Erie County.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Fayette County: Ob/Gyn Lawrence J. Glad, Laurel Highlands Ob/Gyn, a three physician group which delivers almost half the babies born in Fayette County at Uniontown Hospital, will stop delivering babies Nov. 1, 2002, following a premium increase from $150,000 to $400,000 for the group. Eliminating obstetrics will lower the group's premiums to around $100,000. Orthopedic Surgeon Thomas Jones, one of three physicians with Bone and Joint Surgical Associates, which serves 1,500 patients per year, left PA June 1, 2002. Orthopedic Surgeon, Philip Spinuzza, one of three physicians with Bone and Joint Surgical Associates, which serves 1,500 patients per year, left PA June 1, 2002. Ob/Gyn John A. Sunyecz, Laurel Highlands Ob/Gyn, a three physician group which delivers almost half the babies born in Fayette County at Uniontown Hospital, will stop delivering babies Nov. 1, 2002, following a premium increase from $150,000 to $400,000 for the group. Eliminating obstetrics will lower the group's premiums to around $100,000. Ob/Gyn Christine Wilson, Laurel Highlands Ob/Gyn, a three physician group which delivers almost half the babies born in Fayette County at Uniontown Hospital, will stop delivering babies Nov. 1, 2002, following a premium increase from $150,000 to $400,000 for the group. Eliminating obstetrics will lower the group's premiums to around $100,000.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Huntington County: Only one orthopedic surgeon is available for trauma call in all of Huntington County.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Lackawanna County: Orthopedic Surgeon Kevin Corcoran left PA. Orthopedic Surgeon Joseph Cronkey stopped doing surgery. Neurologist Vithal Dhaduk, Dunmore, saw his malpractice premium jump more than 500% last year following filing of a malpractice suit which he describes as unfounded and a nuisance, raising his premiums to $59,000 for this year, with a projected increase to $76,000 next year after the latest round of approved increases takes effect. The Scranton Times quotes Dr. Dhaduk: "If it keeps going like this, I'm going to have to leave. It's impossible." Ob/Gyn Herman Gary, Community Medical Center, has left practice. Neurosurgeon Brian Holmes is leaving PA. General/Vascular Surgeon Vincent Larkin, working part-time for health reasons, retired early because of high premiums for even part-time surgery. Neurosurgeon Robert Sarnowski, Community Medical Center, stopped performing surgey last year and has limited his practice to consulting and assisting, following recepit of a premium exceeding $60,000. Ob/Gyn Amy Yavorek, Ob-Gyn Consultants, will leave PA to practice in New York near West Point, following a 300% increase in malpractice premiums in February, 2002. Dr. Yavorek, 41 years old, is a Lackawanna County native with strong ties to her home and is extremely distressed at being forced to leave. Professional Orthopedic Associates, LTD, a three member orthopedic surgery group, has been forced to eliminate its practice at Community Medical Center. Only three neurosurgeons remain in Lackawanna County. The Ob/Gyn specialist to whom the Lupus Foundation referred their high risk patients has stopped doing OB. Vascular Surgeon Edward Batzel, Clarks Summit, will close his practice at the end of the year due to malpractice premium increases to $250,000 each for himself and his associate, the last two board certified vascular surgeons in the county. ER Specialist Dr Stephen Brunetti, Community Medical Center, of Emergency Services, PC, will leave the hospital by Oct 31 if the hospital cannot bear some portion of increased malpractice premiums, from $90,000 only three years ago, to $700,000 on Oct 1 from by the JUA and unavailable through any other company. The departure of this group of ER physicians could force the closing of CMC's Trauma Center and ER. Vascular Surgeon Mark McGurran, Clarks Summit, will close his practice at the end of the year due to malpractice premium increases to $250,000 each for himself and his associate, the last two board certified vascular surgeons in the county. ER Specialist Vincent Pollino, Community Medical Center, of Emergency Services, PC, will leave the hospital by Oct. 31 if the hospital cannot bear some portion of increased malpractice premiums, from $90,000 only three years ago, to $700,000 on Oct 1 from by the JUA and unavailable through any other company. The departure of this group of ER physicians could force the closing of CMC's Trauma Center and ER. Ten ER physicians at Community Medical Center, Scranton, were forced to turn to the hospital for assistance in covering increased liability premiums after losing their insurance, and may be forced to stop practicing when the hospitals assistance runs out, causing closure of the Emergency Room. Joseph Cesare, MD, C. Chad Ghigiarelli, MD, Alan P. Gillick, MD, Shawn Hennigan, MD, Jack Henzes, MD, P.Christopher Metzger, MD, John Rich, MD, Harry W. Schmaltz, MD, Timothy Siebecker, DPM, and Eugene Grady, MD effective 11/01/02 will no longer schedule appointments for new patients. On December 15, 2002 this group, Scranton Orthopedic Specialists, P.C. will cease covering local emergency rooms and performing all surgery. Donald L. Preate Sr. MD, Charles J. Bannon MD, Jeffrey P. Weiss MD, Michael P. Stewart MD, James Stefanelli MD, David Onofrey MD, Jerald B. Gilbert MD, Kristine Kelley MD, Ira J. Kohn MD, Michael L. Sunday MD, Donald L. Preate Jr. MD, Joseph P. Bannon MD, Ronald Barrett MD, James J. Roche MD - Effective immediately we will no longer accept new patients and perform elective surgery. We will continue to treat emergencies in local hospitals and perform emergency surgery until December 31, 2002. Unless drastic changes are made in the state's medical liability insurance system, it is likely we will cease operations on January 15, 2003. The Delta Medix Group is leaving Lackawanna County. Pain Management Consultants, PC - due to the currently medical liability climate, Dr. Debra De Angelo and Dr, Nicholas De Angelo will no longer accept new patients until further notice. Practice limited to current patients only. As of December 1, 2002 they will no longer be providing hospital consultations or minimally invasive treatments for chronic pain. Scranton Orthopedic Specialists - John Doherty MD, Robert Gavin MD, Theodore Tomasqewski MD, Matthew Hunter MD (Rheumatology) will no longer perform elective surgery as of December 15, 2002, emergency patients will be seen until December 31, 2002 when the Physicians will tell patients whether they will remain open at all. Orthopedic Group - Dr. Carl Steindel, Dr. Edwin Malloy and Dr. Joseph Cronkey will no longer see new patients after 12/1/02. Only Dr. Malloy will perform elective surgery until 12/1/02 and emergency surgery until 12/15/02. Davis, Harold, Ob/Gyn Consultants, Scranton, is no longer seeing new patients and will stop performing major gynecological surgeries December 15, 2002. DeCesare, Raymond, OB/GYN, Scranton, is no longer seeing new patients and will stop performing major gynecological surgeries December 15, 2002. Olenginski, Michael, ENT, Community Medical Center, is no longer able to accept new patients and has been forced to limit surgical procedures due to exorbitant medical liability premiums. Peters, William, General and Bariatric Surgeon, Peckville, plans to end his practice in December, when his liability premiums is expected to triple to over $100,000 and move out of PA. Rabin, Marc, Ob/Gyn Consultants, Scranton, is no longer seeing new patients and will stop performing major gynecological surgeries December 15, 2002. Reedy, Gary, OB/GYN Consultants, Scranton, is no longer seeing new patients and will stop performing major gynecological surgeries December 15, 2002. Sarnowski, Robert, Neurosurgeon, Community Medical Center, stopped performing surgery last year and has limited his practice to consulting and assisting, following receipt of a premium exceeding $60,000. Stec, Eurgene, ENT, Community Medical Center, is no longer able to accept new patients and has been forced to limit surgical procedures due to exhorbitant medical liability premiums. Tomassoni, Andrea, OB/GYN, Scranton, is no longer seeing new patients and will stop performing major gynecological surgeries December 15, 2002. Tomaszewski, Theodore, Orthopedic Surgeon, Professional Orthopedic Associates, practicing at Mercy Hospital, is no longer accepting new patients and will cease elective surgery December 15, 2002 due to soaring malpractice premiums. Previously the group had stopped operating at Community Medical Center to reduce premiums. Toy, Fred, General Surgeon, is leaving PA due to non-renewal of insurancel. General Surgeon Charles Bannon, Delta Medix, a 35 year-old surgical and urological practice which comprises more than 30% of Lackawanna County surgeons and almost all of its urologists, has announced that it will conditionally stay open pending substantive legislation to reduce liability premiums, following a premium notice announcing an increase of more than 150%. The practice had been forced to cease elective surgery and accepting new patients throughout December, 2002. Colon Rectal Surgeon Joseph Bannon, Delta Medix, a 35 year-old surgical and urological practice which comprises more than 30% of Lackawanna County surgeons and almost all of its urologists, has announced that it will conditionally stay open pending substantive legislation to reduce liability premiums, following a premium notice announcing an increase of more than 150%. The practice had been forced to cease elective surgery and accepting new patients throughout December, 2002. Urologist Ronald Barrett, Delta Medix, a 35 year-old surgical and urological practice which comprises more than 30% of Lackawanna County surgeons and almost all of its urologists, has announced that it will conditionally stay open pending substantive legislation to reduce liability premiums, following a premium notice announcing an increase of more than 150%. The practice had been forced to cease elective surgery and accepting new patients throughout December, 2002. Vascular Surgeon Edward Batzel, Clarks Summit, will close his practice at the end of the year due to malpractice premium increases to $250,000 each for himself and his associate, the last two board certified vascular surgeons in the county. Ob/Gyn Richard Behlke, Ob-Gyn Consultants, Scranton, is no longer seeing new patients and will stop performing major gynecological surgeries Dec. 15, 2002. Ob/Gyn Daniel Berger, Scranton, has moved to New Jersey. ER Specialist Dr. Stephen Brunetti, Community Medical Center, of Emergency Services, PC, will leave the hospital by Oct. 31 if the hospital cannot bear some portion of increased malpractice premiums, from $90,000 only three years ago, to $700,000 on Oct. 1 from by the JUA and unavailable through any other company. The departure of this group of ER physicians could force the closing of CMC Trauma Center and ER. Urologist Dr. Cassone, Mid-Valley Hospital, Peckville, has announced the closure of his practice; he is the only urologist on staff at Mid-Valley Hospital. Orthopedic Surgeon Joseph Cesare, Scranton Orthopaedic Specialists, which was closed for most of December, 2002 due to unaffordable malpractice premiums, has reopened temporarily pending passage of Gov. Rendell proposals to reduce premiums to a more tolerable level. Orthopedic Surgeon Joseph Cronkey stopped doing surgery, and as of Dec. 1, will no longer see new patients. Ob/Gyn Harold Davis, Ob-Gyn Consultants, Scranton, is no longer seeing new patients and will stop performing major gynecological surgeries Dec. 15, 2002. Pain Management Specialist Debra DeAngelo, Pain Management Specialists, has announced that the practice will close on Jan. 31, 2003 and they will leave PA. Her clinic is the only comprehensive pain management clinic in Lackawanna County. Ob/Gyn Raymond DeCesare II, Ob-Gyn Consultants, Scranton, is no longer seeing new patients and will stop performing major gynecological surgeries Dec. 15, 2002. Orthopedic Surgeon John Doherty, Jr., of Professional Orthopedic Associates, practicing at Mercy Hospital, is operating and accepting new patients again pending legislation to reduce malpractice premiums, following a monthlong moratorium on elective surgery and accepting new patients in December, 2002. Previously the group had stopped operating at Community Medical Center to reduce premiums. Neurologist Vithal Dhaduk, Dunmore, saw his malpractice premium jump more than 500% last year following filing of a malpractice suit which he describes as unfounded and a nuisance, raising his premiums to $59,000 for this year, with a projected increase to $76,000 next year after the latest round of approved increases takes effect. The Scranton Times quotes Dr. Dhaduk: it keeps going like this, I’m going to have to leave. It’s impossible. Ob/Gyn Herman Gary, Community Medical Center, has left practice. Orthopedic Surgeon J. Robert Gavin, of Professional Orthopedic Associates, practicing at Mercy Hospital, is operating and accepting new patients again pending legislation to reduce malpractice premiums, following a monthlong moratorium on elective surgery and accepting new patients in December, 2002. Previously the group had stopped operating at Community Medical Center to reduce premiums. Orthopedic Surgeon Chad Ghigiarelli, Scranton Orthopaedic Specialists, which was closed for most of December, 2002 due to unaffordable malpractice premiums, has reopened temporarily pending passage of Gov. Rendell proposals to reduce premiums to a more tolerable level. Urologist Jerald Gilbert, Delta Medix, a 35 year-old surgical and urological practice which comprises more than 30% of Lackawanna County surgeons and almost all of its urologists, has announced that it will conditionally stay open pending substantive legislation to reduce liability premiums, following a premium notice announcing an increase of more than 150%. The practice had been forced to cease elective surgery and accepting new patients throughout December, 2002. Orthopedic Surgeon Alan Gillick, Scranton Orthopaedic Specialists, which was closed for most of December, 2002 due to unaffordable malpractice premiums, has reopened temporarily pending passage of Gov. Rendell proposals to reduce premiums to a more tolerable level. Rheumatologist Eugene Grady, Scranton Orthopaedic Specialistswhich was closed for most of December, 2002 due to unaffordable malpractice premiums, has reopened temporarily pending passage of Gov. Rendell proposals to reduce premiums to a more tolerable level. Orthopedic Surgeon Shawn Hennigan, Scranton Orthopaedic Specialists, which was closed for most of December, 2002 due to unaffordable malpractice premiums, has reopened temporarily pending passage of Gov. Rendell™s proposals to reduce premiums to a more tolerable level. Orthopedic Surgeon Jack Henzes, Scranton Orthopaedic Specialists, no longer accepts new patients, will stop performing elective surgery Dec. 1, 2002, and will stop performing all surgery and covering local emergency rooms on Dec. 15, 2002, citing the state intolerable medical malpractice climate for their inability to provide the same level of care. Neurosurgeon Brian Holmes moved to Hagerstown, MD, where his annual premium has dropped to about $14,000. Rheumatologist Matthew Hunter, of Professional Orthopedic Associates, practicing at Mercy Hospital, is accepting new patients again pending legislation to reduce malpractice premiums, following a monthlong moratorium on elective surgery and accepting new patients in December, 2002. Previously the group had stopped operating at Community Medical Center to reduce premiums. General Surgeon Kristine Kelley, Delta Medix, a 35 year-old surgical and urological practice which comprises more than 30% of Lackawanna County surgeons and almost all of its urologists, has announced that it will conditionally stay open pending substantive legislation to reduce liability premiums, following a premium notice announcing an increase of more than 150%. The practice had been forced to cease elective surgery and accepting new patients throughout December, 2002. Urologist Ira Kohn, Delta Medix, a 35 year-old surgical and urological practice which comprises more than 30% of Lackawanna County surgeons and almost all of its urologists, has announced that it will conditionally stay open pending substantive legislation to reduce liability premiums, following a premium notice announcing an increase of more than 150%. The practice had been forced to cease elective surgery and accepting new patients throughout December, 2002. General/Vascular Surgeon Vincent Larkin, working part-time for health reasons, retired early because of high premiums for even part-time surgery. Orthopedic Surgeon Edwin Malloy will stop doing surgery and will no longer see new patients as of Dec. 1, and will cease emergency surgery on Dec. 15, 2002. Vascular Surgeon Mark McGurran, Clarks Summit, will close his practice at the end of the year due to malpractice premium increases to $250,000 each for himself and his associate, the last two board certified vascular surgeons in the county. Orthopedic Surgeon P. Christopher Metzger, Scranton Orthopaedic Specialists, which was closed for most of December, 2002 due to unaffordable malpractice premiums, has reopened temporarily pending passage of Gov. Rendell proposals to reduce premiums to a more tolerable level. ENT Michael Olenginski, Community Medical Center, is no longer able to accept new patients and has been forced to limit surgical procedures due to exhorbitant medical liability premiums. General Surgeon David Onofrey, Delta Medix, a 35 year-old surgical and urological practice which comprises more than 30% of Lackawanna County surgeons and almost all of its urologists, has announced that it will conditionally stay open pending substantive legislation to reduce liability premiums, following a premium notice announcing an increase of more than 150%. The practice had been forced to cease elective surgery and accepting new patients throughout December, 2002. General and Bariatric Surgeon William Peters, Peckville, plans to end his practice in December, when his liability premiums is expected to triple to over $100,000, and move out of PA. Urologist Donald Preate, Sr., Delta Medix, a 35 year-old surgical and urological practice which comprises more than 30% of Lackawanna County surgeons and almost all of its urologists, has announced that it will conditionally stay open pending substantive legislation to reduce liability premiums, following a premium notice announcing an increase of more than 150%. The practice had been forced to cease elective surgery and accepting new patients throughout December, 2002. Urologist Donald Preate, Jr., Delta Medix, a 35 year-old surgical and urological practice which comprises more than 30% of Lackawanna County surgeons and almost all of its urologists, has announced that it will conditionally stay open pending substantive legislation to reduce liability premiums, following a premium notice announcing an increase of more than 150%. The practice had been forced to cease elective surgery and accepting new patients throughout December, 2002. ER Specialist Vincent Pollino, Community Medical Center, of Emergency Services, PC, will leave the hospital by Oct. 31 if the hospital cannot bear some portion of increased malpractice premiums, from $90,000 only three years ago, to $700,000 on Oct. 1 from by the JUA and unavailable through any other company. The departure of this group of ER physicians could force the closing of CMC Trauma Center and ER. Ob/Gyn Marc H. Rabin, Ob-Gyn Consultants, Scranton, is no longer seeing new patients and will stop performing major gynecological surgeries Dec. 15, 2002 Ob/Gyn Gary Reedy, Ob-Gyn Consultants, Scranton, is no longer seeing new patients and will stop performing major gynecological surgeries Dec. 15, 2002 Orthopedic Surgeon John T. Rich, Scranton Orthopaedic Specialists, which was closed for most of December, 2002 due to unaffordable malpractice premiums, has reopened temporarily pending passage of Gov. Rendell proposals to reduce premiums to a more tolerable level. General Surgeon James Roche, Delta Medix, a 35 year-old surgical and urological practice which comprises more than 30% of Lackawanna County surgeons and almost all of its urologists, has announced that it will conditionally stay open pending substantive legislation to reduce liability premiums, following a premium notice announcing an increase of more than 150%. The practice had been forced to cease elective surgery and accepting new patients throughout December, 2002. Neurosurgeon Robert Sarnowski, Community Medical Center, stopped performing surgey last year and has limited his practice to consulting and assisting, following recepit of a premium exceeding $60,000. Orthopedic Surgeon Harry Schmaltz, which was closed for most of December, 2002 due to unaffordable malpractice premiums, has reopened temporarily pending passage of Gov. Rendell proposals to reduce premiums to a more tolerable level. Podiatrist Timothy Siebecker, Scranton Orthopaedic Specialists, which was closed for most of December, 2002 due to unaffordable malpractice premiums, has reopened temporarily pending passage of Gov. Rendell’s proposals to reduce premiums to a more tolerable level. ENT Eugene Stec, Community Medical Center, is no longer able to accept new patients and has been forced to limit surgical procedures due to “exhorbitant medical liability premiums. Urologist James Stefanelli, Delta Medix, a 35 year-old surgical and urological practice which comprises more than 30% of Lackawanna County surgeons and almost all of its urologists, has announced that it will conditionally stay open pending substantive legislation to reduce liability premiums, following a premium notice announcing an increase of more than 150%. The practice had been forced to cease elective surgery and accepting new patients throughout December, 2002. Orthopedic Surgeon Carl Steindel stopped doing surgery, and as of Dec. 1, will no longer see new patients. General Surgeon Michael Stewart, Delta Medix, a 35 year-old surgical and urological practice which comprises more than 30% of Lackawanna County surgeons and almost all of its urologists, has announced that it will conditionally stay open pending substantive legislation to reduce liability premiums, following a premium notice announcing an increase of more than 150%. The practice had been forced to cease elective surgery and accepting new patients throughout December, 2002. General/Vascular Surgeon Michael Sunday, Delta Medix, a 35 year-old surgical and urological practice which comprises more than 30% of Lackawanna County surgeons and almost all of its urologists, has announced that it will conditionally stay open pending substantive legislation to reduce liability premiums, following a premium notice announcing an increase of more than 150%. The practice had been forced to cease elective surgery and accepting new patients throughout December, 2002. Ob/Gyn Andrea Tomassoni, Ob-Gyn Consultants, Scranton, is no longer seeing new patients and will stop performing major gynecological surgeries Dec. 15, 2002. Orthopedic Surgeon Theodore Tomaszewski, of Professional Orthopedic Associates, practicing at Mercy Hospital, is operating and accepting new patients again pending legislation to reduce malpractice premiums, following a monthlong moratorium on elective surgery and accepting new patients in December, 2002. Previously the group had stopped operating at Community Medical Center to reduce premiums. General Surgeon Fred Toy, who had originally planned to leave Padue to non-renewal of insurance has obtained coverage for only six months pending legislative action. Urologist Jeffrey P. Weiss, Delta Medix, a 35 year-old surgical and urological practice which comprises more than 30% of Lackawanna County surgeons and almost all of its urologists, has announced that it will conditionally stay open pending substantive legislation to reduce liability premiums, following a premium notice announcing an increase of more than 150%. The practice had been forced to cease elective surgery and accepting new patients throughout December, 2002. Ob/Gyn Amy Yavorek, Ob-Gyn Consultants, will leave PA to practice in New York near West Point, following a 300% increase in malpractice premiums in February, 2002. Dr. Yavorek, 41 years old, is a Lackawanna County native with strong ties to her home and is extremely distressed at being forced to leave. Only three neurosurgeons remain in Lackawanna County. The Ob/Gyn specialist to whom the Lupus Foundation referred their high risk patients has stopped doing OB. Three of five trained vascular surgeons in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area have left, according to Dr. William Host, President of Wyoming Valley Health Care System, and the remaining two will most likely close their practice on Dec. 31, 2002.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Lancaster County: Surgeon Dyeanne Racette is leaving Lancaster for Vermont due to liability premiums. Physician Effect: Ob/Gyn Stanley Prince, Ephrata Community Hospital, closed his 16-year old practice on Jan. 1, 2003, leaving some 1,800 women looking elsewhere for care, after his medical malpractice insurance rose from $80,000 last year to $114,000 in 2003.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Lebanon County: The Family and Community Medicine Residency Program at Penn State University/Good Samaritan Hospital, Lebanon, PA, reports that all six 2002 graduates are leaving PA to practice, while in 2001 only one of six graduates remained in the state, according to Program Director Edward Paul, MD, who further reports that the institution is having difficulty filling residency positions for the upcoming year.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Lehigh County: Pediatrician John P. Hentosh retired May 31, 2002. Cardiologist John Kristofich has left PA. Neurosurgeon Robert Morrow announced that his group has lost two of five doctors and was forced to lay off three employees in their office, following a 47% malpractice premium increase in 2001 and 62% increase in 2002, bringing his annual premium to over $100,000. Plastic Surgeon Robert Murphy, Lehigh Valley Hospital Center, has stopped doing complex extremity and wrist reconstruction. Internist Russell Rentler was forced to sell his 13-year-old private practice serving Macungie, Allentown and Wescosville following a 100% premium increase and 14-15% Medicare decrease; he will now work only in nursing homes and medical education. Ob/Gyn Carolyn Scott stopped delivering babies in May, 2002 and reduced her malpractice premiums by half. Internist Harvey Starr plans on leaving PA. Ob/Gyn Andrea Waxman stopped delivering babies in May, 2002 and reduced her malpractice premiums by half. Orthopedic Surgeon Dane Wukitsch is leaving PA. Endocrinologist Bob Doll stopped accepting new diabetes patients. Internist John Paulus, Lehigh Valley Hospital, retired early. Pediatrician Laurie Cohen, Children Health Care, stopped attending deliveries to reduce malpractice risk. Ob/Gyn Gayllyn Faust-Rakos was forced to sell her private practice to St. Luke Hospital in order to be able to afford to continue obstetric care. Ob/Gyn Zirka Haliby, Lehigh Valley Hospital, has eliminated obstetrics. Pediatric Cardiologist Louis Hansrote has been unable to attract an additional pediatric allergist to the area; consequently, the waiting list for his practice is unbelievable. Pediatrician Anna Linderman, Children Health Care, stopped attending deliveries to reduce malpractice risk. Ob/Gyn Gene Miller was forced to sell his private practice. Pediatric Allergist Mary Shields retired early. Pediatrician Rima Strassman, Children Health Care, stopped attending deliveries to reduce malpractice risk. Ob/Gyn John Stevens, Jr. was forced to sell his private practice to St. Luke Hospital in order to be able to afford to continue obstetric care. Pediatrician Ken Toff, Children Health Care, stopped attending deliveries to reduce malpractice risk. Pediatric Allergist Kathy Ververelli left clinical medicine and her associates have been unable to recruit a replacement for her, leaving only one pediatric allergist in the area.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Luzerne County: Family Practitioner Anthony Anzalone quit in 2002 and moved to the southeast US. Vascular Surgeon Peter Blanc, Wilkes-Barre, will close his practice when his current insurance expires Sept. 30, 2002, following notification of an increase from $27,000 to $51,000. Family Practitioner Louis Bonita quit in 2002 due to malpractice costs. Ob/Gyn Douglas Coslett has been forced to eliminate obstetrics from his busy practice, reducing his malpractice premiums by half. Ob/Gyn John Decaprio will close his 15 year old practice, Wyoming Valley. Gyn and Infertility Associates in July, 2002 and move to New England. Orthopedic Surgeon Peter Feinstein has given up back surgery and limited practice to lower risk procedures and reports that his father-in-law, a local Ob/Gyn, has stopped delivering babies. Ob/Gyn Martin Freifeld is leaving his Luzerne County practice after 20 years. Family Practitioner Nancy Lovelace moved to Virginia in 2001. Orthopedic Surgeon Daniel Lovrinic retired from private practice due to 100% premium increase and is now practicing at the Wilkes-Barre VA Hospital. Family Practitioner William McGuire moved to New York in 2001. General and Vascular Surgeon Sam Piccone moved to Wisconsin in Feb., 2002 to take advantage of a better opportunity which could not be matched in PA due, in part, to liability costs. Ob/Gyn Lisa Roberts, Wyoming Valley Gynecologic and Infertility Associates, is moving to North Carolina. Vascular Surgeon Mark Rummel moved to Michigan in July, 2001. General Surgeon J. Zhitarelli left private practice and went to work at the Wilkes-Barre VA Hospital. Andrews, Joseph, Gastroenterologist, Wilkes-Barre, has been forced to drastically restrict the access of new patients to his practice. Andrews, Jr., Peter, General and Thoracic Surgeon, community Surgical Group, Kingston, has stopped accepting new patients and will eliminate major surgery due to liability premiums. Baseski, Theresa, OB/GYN Associates, Kingston, will no longer see new patients due to the potential loss of malpractice insurance at the end of the year 2002, noting that it would be irresponsible to initiate pregnancy care for patients whose babies he will likely not be able to deliver. Blaum, Louis, Thoracic Surgeon, Community Surgical Group, Kingston, has stopped accepting new patients and will eliminate major surgery due to liability premiums. Brown, Robert, Chief of Infectious Diseases at Wyoming Valley Health Care System, retired early due to liability premiums. Casterline, Peter, F., ENT Surgeon, Surgical Specialists of Wyoming Valley, has announced that he can no longer accept new elective surgery patients as a result of escalating medical liability insurance costs. Coslett-Charlton, Lynne, OB/GYN Associates, Kingston, will no longer see new patients due to the potential loss of malpractice insurance at the end of the year, 2002, noting that it would be irresponsible to initiate pregnancy care for patients whose babies she will likely not be able to deliver. DePasquale, Sam, General Surgeon, Kingston has announced that he will refrain from seeing new patients and performing elective surgery due to liability concerns, noting that his liability insurance was $600 when he began practice in 1970 and expects liability insurance to cost between $50,000 and $75,000 in 2003. DeRojas, Juan, General/Vascular Surgeon, Surgical Specialists of Wyoming Valley, has announced that he can no longer accept new elective surgery patients as a result of escalating medical liability insurance costs. Ferraro, Michael, OB/GYN Associates, Kingston, will no longer see new patients due to the potential loss of malpractice insurance at the end of the year 2002, noting that it would be irresponsible to initiate pregnancy care for patients whose babies he will likely not be able to deliver. Frye, John, W. OB/BYN Associates, Kingston, will no longer see new patients due to the potential loss of malpractice insurance at the end of the year 2002, noting that it would be irresponsible to initiate pregnancy care for patients whose babies he will likely not be able to deliver. Kacqorowski, Eugene, OB/GYN, Nesbitt Memorial, Kingston, is no longer seeing new patients due to skyrocketing malpractice premiums, following 25 years of experience. Kim, H.B., OB/GYN, Mercy Hospital, is no longer accepting new patients, citing outrageous liability costs for the decision, following 25 years and nearly 5,000 deliveries. Lucchio, Dave, Colon Rectal Surgeon has announced that he can no longer accept new elective surgery patients as a result of escalating liability costs. Marien, Brian, Vascular Surgeon, Community Surgical Group, Kingston, has stopped accepting new patients and will eliminate major surgery due to liability premiums. Mendolsohn, Saul, Nephrologist, Mercy and Wyoming Valley Hospitals, retired Nov. 1, 2002. Panzer, Glen, Family Practitioner, closed his private practice due to liability premiums and is now practicing solely in nursing homes. Paull, Douglas, General/Thoracic Surgeon, Surgical Specialists of Wyoming Valley, has announced that he can no longer accept new elective surgery patients as a result of escalating medical liability insurance costs. Pernikoff, Barry, Colon Rectal Surgeon, Surgical Specialists of Wyoming Valley, has announced that he can no longer accept new elective surgery patients as a result of escalating medical liability insurance costs. Prasad, Shishir, Surgeon will retire early on Jan. 1, 2003 as a result of escalating liability premiums. Ridilla, Joe, General Surgeon, has announced that he can no longer accept new elective surgery patients as a result of liability costs. Schiowitz, Mark, General/Critical Care Surgeon, Wilkes-Barre, can no longer see new patients or offer hospital consultations as a result of liability premiums which have increased 150% in the past three years. Sedor, David, Neurosurgeon, formerly one of three but now the last practicing neurosurgeon at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital, was recently forced to transfer a patient to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville because he could not operate on two people at once. He noted that the hospital has been trying to hire another neurosurgeon to replace two who left for over a year but they cannot get anyone to come here because of the insurance crisis. He notes that he has not slept through a night in a year and three months. Sheikh, Feroz, Colon Rectal Surgeon, Surgical Specialists of Wyoming Valley, one of only two board-certified colon rectal surgeons in the Wyoming Valley, has announced that he can no longer accept new elective surgery patients as a result of escalating medical liability insurance costs. Smith, Jr., Henry, Pulmonologist, can no longer do acute care medicine due to the hostile malpractice environment, but will continue his pulmonary practice in area facilities, leaving only three pulmonary/critical care physicians in Wilkes-Barre, down from nine in 1989. Verazin, Gary, Surgical Oncologist, community Surgical Group, Kingston, has stopped accepting new patients and will eliminate major surgery due to liability premiums. Willner, Jay, Ob/GYN, Mercy Hospital, has eliminated obstectrics and limited gynecological procedures. Yavorski, Chester, General/Vascular Surgeon, Surgical Specialists of Wyoming Valley, has announced that he can no longer accept new elective surgery patients as a result of escalating medical liability insurance costs. General and Thoracic Surgeon Peter Andrews, Jr., Community Surgical Group, Kingston, is seeking employment in other states due to an inability to obtain insurance. Gastroenterologist Joseph Andrews, Wilkes-Barre, has been forced to drastically restrict the access of new patients to his practice. Family Practitioner Anthony Anzalone quit in 2002 and moved to the southeast US. Ob/Gyn Theresa Baseski, OB-GYN Associates, Kingston, will no longer see new patients due to the potential loss of malpractice insurance, noting that it would be irresponsible to initiate pregnancy care for patients whose babies she will likely not be able to deliver. Vascular Surgeon Peter Blanc, Wilkes-Barre, closed his practice when his insurance expired Sept. 30, 2002, following notification of an increase from $27,000 to $51,000. Thoracic Surgeon Louis Blaum, Community Surgical Group, Kingston, has resumed surgery and acceptins new patients pending substantive measures to recude liability premiums, following a month-long moratorium on new patients and elective surgery. Family Practitioner Louis Bonita quit in 2002 due to malpractice costs. Infectious Disease Specialist Robert Brown, chief of infectious diseases at Wyoming Valley Health Care System, retired early due to liability premiums. ENT Surgeon Peter F. Casterline, Surgical Specialists of Wyoming Valley, has resumed surgery and acceptins new patients pending substantive measures to recude liability premiums, following a month-long moratorium on new patients and elective surgery. Ob/Gyn Douglas Coslett has been forced to eliminate obstetrics from his busy practice, reducing his malpractice premiums by half. Ob/Gyn Hiyoung Chung has been forced to eliminate obstetrics. Ob/Gyn Lynne Coslett-Charlton, OB-GYN Associates, Kingston, will no longer see new patients due to the potential loss of malpractice insurance, noting that it would be irresponsible to initiate pregnancy care for patients whose babies he will likely not be able to deliver. Ob/Gyn John DeCaprio closed his 15 year old practice, Wyoming Valley Gyn and Infertility Associates in July, 2002 and moved to New England. General/Vascular Surgeon Juan DeRojas, Surgical Specialists of Wyoming Valley, has resumed surgery and acceptins new patients pending substantive measures to recude liability premiums, following a month-long moratorium on new patients and elective surgery. General Surgeon Sam DePasquale, Kingston has announced that he will refrain from seeing new patients and performing elective surgery due to liability concerns, noting that his liability insurance was $600 when he began practice in 1970 and expects liability insurance to cost between $50,000 and $75,000 in 2003. Ob/Gyn Michael Ferraro, OB-GYN Associates, Kingston, will no longer see new patients due to the potential loss of malpractice insurance, noting that it would be irresponsible to initiate pregnancy care for patients whose babies he will likely not be able to deliver. Orthopedic Surgeon Peter Feinstein has given up back surgery and limited practice to lower risk procedures and reports that his father-in-law, a local Ob/Gyn, has stopped delivering babies. Ob/Gyn Martin Freifeld is leaving his Luzerne County practice after 20 years. Ob/Gyn John W. Frye, OB-GYN Associates, Kingston, will no longer see new patients due to the potential loss of malpractice insurance, noting that it would be irresponsible to initiate pregnancy care for patients whose babies he will likely not be able to deliver. Neurosurgeon Paul Gutterman, the only neurosurgeon in Hazleotn, retired from active practice in 2001 when his malpractice premium became greater than his practice’s profits. Ob/Gyn Eugene Kaczorowski, Nesbitt Memorial, Kingston, is no longer seeing new patients due to skyrocketing malpractice premiums, following 25 years of experience. Family Practitioner Patrick Kerrigan, Wilkes-Barre, will no longer be able to perform blood work due to the cancellation of his workers compensation coverage for factors which he says is an offshoot of the liability crisis. Ob/Gyn H.B. Kim, Mercy Hospital, is no longer accepting new patients, citing outrageous liability costs for the decision, following 25 years and nearly 5,000 deliveries. Family Practitioner Nancy Lovelace moved to Virginia in 2001. Orthopedic Surgeon Daniel Lovrinic retired from private practice due to 100% premium increase and is now practicing at the Wilkes-Barre VA Hosp. Vascular Surgeon Brian Marien, Community Surgical Group, Kingston, has resumed surgery and acceptins new patients pending substantive measures to recude liability premiums, following a month-long moratorium on new patients and elective surgery. Family Practitioner William McGuire moved to New York in 2001. Nephrologist Saul Mendolsohn, Mercy and Wyoming Valley Hospitals, will retire Nov. 1, 2002. Colon Rectal Surgeon Dave Lucchino has resumed surgery and acceptins new patients pending substantive measures to recude liability premiums, following a month-long moratorium on new patients and elective surgery. Family Practitioner Glen Panzer closed his private practice due to liability premiums and is now practicing solely in nursing homes. Orthopedic Surgeon Michael Patney, Hazleton, husband of Ob/Gyn Dr. Pellegrino is closing his practice in Feb., 2003 due to malpractice premiums; he is as yet uncertain where he is going. General/Thoracic Surgeon Douglas Paull, Surgical Specialists of Wyoming Valley, has resumed surgery and acceptins new patients pending substantive measures to recude liability premiums, following a month-long moratorium on new patients and elective surgery. Ob/Gyn Fiorina Pellegrino, Hazleton, wife of orthopedic surgeon Michael Patney, is leaving PA by February 2003 due to the cost of her husband malpractice premiums, but notes that her own coverage much more affordable; as yet, she is uncertain where they are going. Colon Rectal Surgeon Barry Pernikoff, Surgical Specialists of Wyoming Valley, has resumed surgery and acceptins new patients pending substantive measures to recude liability premiums, following a month-long moratorium on new patients and elective surgery. General and Vascular Surgeon Sam Piccone moved to Wisconsin in Feb., 2002 to take advantage of a better opportunity which could not be matched in PA due, in part, to liability costs. Surgeon Shishir Prasad will retire early on Jan. 1, 2003 as a result of escalating liability premiums. General Surgeon Joe Ridilla has resumed surgery and acceptins new patients pending substantive measures to recude liability premiums, following a month-long moratorium on new patients and elective surgery. Ob/Gyn Lisa Roberts, Wyoming Valley Gynecologic and Infertility Associates, is moving to North Carolina. Vascular Surgeon Mark Rummel moved to Michigan in July, 2001. General/Critical Care Surgeon Mark Schiowitz, Wilkes-Barre, has resumed surgery and acceptins new patients pending substantive measures to recude liability premiums, following a month-long moratorium on new patients and elective surgery. Neurosurgeon David Sedor, formerly one of three but now the last practicing neurosurgeon at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital, was recently forced to transfer a patient to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville because he could not operate on two people at once, and further notes that the hospital has been trying to hire another neurosurgeon to replace two who left for over a year, but we cannot get anyone to come here because of the insurance crisis. Dr. Sedor further notes, I have no help. I have no back-up. I haven slept through a night in a year and three months. Colon Rectal Surgeon Feroz Sheikh, Surgical Specialists of Wyoming Valley, one of only two board-certified colon rectal surgeons in the Wyoming Valley, has resumed surgery and acceptins new patients pending substantive measures to recude liability premiums, following a month-long moratorium on new patients and elective surgery. Pulmonologist Henry F. Smith, Jr. can no longer do acute care medicine due to the malpractice environment, but will continue his pulmonary practice in area facilities, leaving only three pulmonary/critical care physicians in Wilkes-Barre, down from nine in 1989. Surgical Oncologist Gary Verazin, Community Surgical Group, Kingston, has resumed surgery and acceptins new patients pending substantive measures to recude liability premiums, following a month-long moratorium on new patients and elective surgery. Ob/Gyn Jay Willner, Mercy Hospital, has eliminated obstetrics and limited gynecological procedures. General/Vascular Surgeon Chester Yavorski, Surgical Specialists of Wyoming Valley, has resumed surgery and acceptins new patients pending substantive measures to recude liability premiums, following a month-long moratorium on new patients and elective surgery. General Surgeon J. Zhitarelli left private practice and went to work at the Wilkes-Barre VA Hospital.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Lycoming County: Plastic Surgeon Richard Schatz will leave PA in November due to the liability crisis. Haack, Susan and Speisinger, James, both OB/GYN, a married couple are leaving Williamsport and are going to Wisconsin. Dassanayake, Tamara, OB/GYN, is leaving Lewisburg.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- McKean County: General/Vascular Surgeon Thomas A. Castellenti moved to Largo, Florida. Ob/Gyn Robert Moyer, Bradford Regional Medical Center/Warren General Hospital, is moving to Green Bay, Wisconsin, in July, 2002.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Mifflin County: Longtime Ob/Gyn Ralph Aldinger left PA.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Monroe County: General Surgeon Kurt Hoffman, Pocono Medical Center, moved to Vidalia, GA. ENT Tanjeer Janjun moved to Somerville, NJ. Orthopedic Surgeon Jan Kapcala retired. Ob/Gyn Karen McColl, Pocono Medical Center, moved to Vidalia, GA. Family Practitioner Pamela Villany moved to Baltimore, MD. Anesthesiologist Steve Villany moved to Baltimore, MD. Ob/Gyn Peter Yaswinski, Pocono Medical Center, gave up OB.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Montgomery County: Neurosurgeon Steven J. Barrar, Chief of Neurosurgery at Abington Hospital, experienced premium increases which went from $70,000 in 2000 to $132,000 in 2001, to $314,000 in 2002 (through the JUA). Ob/Gyn Andre Blanzaco, Wyndemoor, Chestnut Hill Hospital and Thomas Jefferson Hospitals, retired. Ob/Gyn Sherry Blumenthal, Abington Hospital, has stopped delivering babies. General Surgeon Leonard Cohen, Elkins Park and Einstein Hospitals, moved to Arizona. Ob/Gyn Yvonne Figarella, Womencare Ob/Gyn in Willow Grove, on staff at Abington Hospital, left PA for NY because her neurosurgeon husband can't find a job in PA which pays enough for them to pay off their medical school loans. She was offered twice the salary she makes in PA. Plastic Surgeon Mark Granick, serving Philadelphia and Montgomery County, has moved to New Jersey. Ob/Gyn Joel Lebed (See Philadelphia County). Neurosurgeon Gregory Lignelli, left Pottstown Memorial Medical Center two years ago, and a replacement surgeon has not yet been recruited. Family Practitioner/Geriatrician J. Mambu has been forced to give up some procedures Neurosurgeon Richard C. Mendel, Pottstown Memorial Medical Center, left in August. Orthopedic Surgeon Larry Miller, Chief of Orthopedic Surgery at Lankenau Hospital, will relocate to Camden, NJ Sept. 1 to become Chief of Orthopedics at Cooper Medical Center, following an increase of malpractice premiums to 20% of the complete overhead for his seven-member practice, compared with a national average of 2%. Neurosurgeon David Paganelli, Abington Hospital, moved to Rocky Mountain, NC. Premiere Orthopedics of Havertown has lost two of 20 surgeons, and another is preparing to leave for NJ. Neurosurgeon Murray Robinson, Abington Hospital, is moving to Ohio. Orthopedic Surgeon Jonathan Rogers, former Chief of Orthopedic Surgery at Chestnut Hill Hospital has left PA. Ob/Gyn Jay Sivitz (See Philadelphia County). Internist Christina Stasiuk, Huntington Valley, is closing her practice after 15 years and has accepted an administrative position. Bilingual in English and Ukranian, Dr. Stasiuk has served a large Ukranian population along with her general practice. Ob/Gyn Gregory Van Gundy, Lankenau, relocated to Maine. Havertown patient Maggie Thornton reported that her longtime Ob/Gyn Dr. Whittaker was forced to retire during her most recent pregnancy, forcing her to change doctors late in pregnancy. Orthopedic Surgeon Roger Wong, former Chief of Orthopedics at Mercy Suburban Hospital in E. Norristown, left PA. A Pottstown neurosurgeon left Pottstown, where he was paying $160,000, and moved to Aiken, S.C., where his premiums are $22,000. Michael Sneeden, MD orthopedic surgeon left Bryn Mawr Hospital for Virginia because of malpractice cost. Abington Orthopedics, an 11 surgeon group, will face premiums of $200,000 per physician on Jan. 1, 2003 through the JUA, according to practice administrator Lois Holyk, who notes that all other options have been exhausted. General Surgeon Michelle M. Bertsch, Central Montgomery Medical Center, relocated to New Jersey on July 1, 2002 after only four years practicing in Pennsylvania. Ob/Gyn Richard Crispino, Central Montgomery Medical Center, Lansdale, part of a four-doctor practice, is leaving the area along with three associates. Pediatrician Jeffrey Fogel, Abington Memorial Hospital, moved to Tampa, Florida in July, 2002, noting the reduced reimbursements and skyrocketing liability premiums were a no-win situation for... me, my patients and my family. Neurosurgeon Richard C. Mendel, Pottstown Memorial Medical Center, left in August. Ob/Gyn Nancy Roberts,Minline Perinatal, ahs biven up obstectrics, leaving only three members of the five physician group delivering babies; as her only other female associate has also been forced to eliminate obstetrics, their patients no longer have the option of choosing a woman obstetricians to deliver their babies. Ob/Gyn Susan Rose, Mainline Perinatal, has given up obstetrics, leaving only three members of the five physician group delivering babies; as her only other female associate has also been forced to eliminate obstetrics, their patients no longer have the option of choosing a woman obstetrician to deliver their babies. Ob/Gyn Betsy Chase, Abington Hospital, a young Ob/Gyn moved her practice to New England. Orthopedic Surgeon Martin Cohen, Abington Hospital, moved his suburban Philadelphia practice to the Lehigh Valley. Ob/Gyn Julia Johansson, Abington Hospital, is moving to Utah because of the high cost of insurance and low reimbursement rates in PA. Radiologist Faith Rachofsky, Montgomery Hospital, retired early, and her group noted the malpractice crisis and our inability to get conventional malpractice insurance definitely contributed to her retirement.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Northampton County: Ob/Gyn Richard Baker, St. Luke's Hospital, forced to close his Quakertown satellite office to reduce costs. General Surgeon Peter Cochrane, St. Luke's Hospital, moved to Wisconsin. Ob/Gyn Sara Orr Cochrane moved to Wisconsin. Anesthesiologist Joseph Ducaji, St. Luke's Hospital, left PA. Anesthesiologist Bill Frame, St. Luke's Hospital, left PA. General Surgeon Ruth George, St. Luke's Hospital, moved to Texas. General Surgeon Andy Hoffman, St. Luke's Hospital, moved to Texas. Ob/Gyn Joseph Merola, Ob/Gyn Chair at St. Luke's Hospital, gave up OB and eliminated gynecological surgery. Dr. Antoine Naim, St. Luke's Hospital, moved to W.VA. Anesthesiologist Tom Palilla, St. Luke's Hospital, left PA. Neurosurgeon Salvatore Palumbo, St. Luke's Hospital, left PA. Neurosurgeon Barry Pollack, Easton Hospital, is moving to Ithaca, NY. Ob/Gyn Sean White, St. Luke's Hospital, moved to Tennessee. Neurosurgeon Gerald Zupruk, Easton Hospital, former president of the Northampton County Medical Society, is moving to Ithaca, NY. Anesthesia Specialists of Bethlehem, St Luke's Hospital, reports the loss of 7 of 23 anesthesiologist in the last year. Anesthesiologist Benjamin Deratzou, Anesthesia Specialists of Bethlehem St. Luke's Hospital, left PA. Anesthesiologist Hansel de Sousa, Anesthesia Specialists of Bethlehem St. Luke's Hospital, left PA. Anesthesiologist Joseph Ducaji, Anesthesia Specialists of Bethlehem St. Luke's Hospital, left PA Anesthesiologist David Leff, Anesthesia Specialists of Bethlehem St. Luke's Hospital, left PA. Anesthesiologist Richard Stauffer, Anesthesia Specialists of Bethlehem St. Luke's Hospital, left PA. Neurologist John Mahon has moved out of PA due to rising malpractice premiums. Dr. Peter Cunningham, Easton, will close his 20-year old practice to work for the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota following a notice of a 300% increase over his 2002 premium. Neurologist John Mahon is moving out of PA due to rising malpractice premiums.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Northumberland County: Dr. Juan Delgado, OB/GYN, closed his practice 5 years early due to increased malpractice premiums.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Philadelphia County: Ob/Gyn William Balay, Temple University Hospital, gave up OB and no longer performs gynecological surgery to reduce premiums. ENT William Banks, MCP Hahneman, has left. Orthopedic Surgeon Arthur Bartolozzi, a renowned sports medicine specialist, was forced to give up his role as team doctor for the Philadelphia Eagles and Flyers because insurance companies consider surgery on professional athletes an elevated risk, and he is unable to obtain coverage. Earlier, one of Dr. Bartolozzi’s patients, Eagles defensive lineman Hollis Thomas was forced to go to Chicago for foot surgery due to the malpractice crisis. Dr. Bartolozzi continues his very busy sports and orthopaedic surgery practice with Booth Bartolozzi Balderston Orthopaedics at Pennsylvania Hospital. Ob/Gyn Gregory Bolton is no longer practicing at Pennsylvania Hospital due to malpractice cost. Internist and Nephrologist Francine Cirelli recently sold her Northeast Philadelphia practice and moved to New Jersey. Ob/Gyn Steve Corson quit clinical medicine and is currently doing only research. Neurosurgeon Steven Dante, Thomas Jefferson Hospital and Wills Eye is leaving for Cincinnati, Ohio. Ob/Gyn Alan E. Donnenfeld, Pennsylvania Hospital, has given up OB. Neurosurgeon Andrew Frease, Jefferson Hospital, trained at MIT/Harvard, will leave PA for Cooper in New Jersey. His malpractice premium will drop from over $200,000 to $47,000. Plastic Surgeon Brett Garber, Methodist and St. Agnes Hospitals, moved to New Jersey July, 2002. Ob/Gyn Dave Goodner, Pennsylvania Hospital, gave up gynecological surgery to reduce premiums only two weeks after receiving the residents' top award for being the best teacher in the OR. Orthopedic Surgeon John Gregg, Childrens' Hospital of Philadelphia, moved to NJ and saved $90,000. General/Thoracic Surgeon Enrique Guttin, Chief of Surgery at St. Agnes Hospital, left PA to work at a VA hospital in New York. Ob/Gyn Daniel Guilfoil, Philadelphia, has closed his practice because of malpractice premiums, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Pediatric Endocrinologist Dr. Hale left clinical medicine for a position in the pharmaceutical industry last year. General Surgeon Clara Higgins, with extensive endoscopy experience, Tenet Parkview Hospital, is leaving Ob/Gyn Valerie Jorganson, Pennsylvania Hospital, has given up OB. Ob/Gyn Marvin Kalafer, Temple University Hospital, has limited practice to office Ob/Gyn only. Ob/Gyn Ben Kendall, Pennsylvania Hospital, retired five years earlier than previous partner. Ob/Gyn Richard Krauss is no longer practicing at Pennsylvania Hospital due to malpractice cost. Ob/Gyn Josh Krotec, Methodist Hospital, moved to New Jersey to work at Cooper Hospital in January, 2002. Ob/Gyn Joel P. Lebed, Tri-County Ob/Gyn Associates in Jenkintown, Norristown and Philadelphia, was forced to drop obstetrics on June 1, 2002 after 22 years of delivering babies when his malpractice premium doubled to $170,000. One of his four associates left for Tennessee, while another accepted a fulltime position at Jeanes Hospital in Northeast Philadelphia because it pays malpractice for employed physicians. Internist Hollace Leppert, Tenet Parkview Hospital, is moving to Florida by July, 2002. Pediatric Neurosurgeon Gary Magram moved to Fairfax, Virginia. Neurosurgeon Michael Munz, Temple University Hospital, moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana. Neurosurgeon Donald Myers, Thomas Jefferson Hospital, has left. Neurosurgeon Raj Narayan, Chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at Temple University Hospital, is leaving Philadelphia in July, 2002 to assume the Chair at the University of Cincinnati Mayfield Clinic, citing malpractice premiums and their effect on academic physicians as the main reason for his departure. Pediatric Neurologist Tina Narayan, one of the Delaware Valley's leading pediatric neurologists, is leaving Philadelphia with her neurosurgeon husband to relocate to Cincinnati, Ohio. Ob/Gyn Richard Nemiroff, Pennsylvania Hospital, has given up OB. Neurosurgeon Bruce Northrup, Thomas Jefferson Hospital, has left. Ob/Gyn May Ange Ntoso is no longer practicing at Pennsylvania Hospital due to malpractice cost. Orthopedic Surgeon Michael Okin gave up surgery in 2001 and will open a satellite office in NJ to offset liability expenses in the PA office. Ob/Gyn Kathleen Patrick, Pennsylvania Hospital, has given up OB. Orthopedic Surgeon John Proedehl of Philadelphia moved to Maryland. Only one of 16 ENT physicians graduating from University of Pennsylvania's residency program in the past four years has stayed in PA due to high malpractice premiums, according to chief resident Robert Puchalski, who chose a position in South Carolina despite three job offers in Philadelphia and the fact that his wife, who is completing a fellowship at CHOP, must remain in Philadelphia one more year. Ob/Gyn Herman Reid closed his large Center City Philadelphia practice to move to S. Carolina. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Pike County: Four of nine orthopedic surgeons have left the county since last year.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Potter County: Dr. Robert Supinski, Coudersport, has moved to New York.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Scranton County: Dr. Edward Batzel and Dr. Mark McGuirn General and Vascular Surgeons leaving the Scranton area at the end of the year due to malpractice premiums in excess of $250,000 as per the Scranton Times.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Susquehanna County: Family Practitioner James Della Valle, was forced to relocate his Sysquehanna, PA family practice over the line into New York. Susquehanna County was already designated an underserved area. General Surgeon Jan Cary Klette, has relocated to W. Virginia.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Union County: Dr. James Donahue, Geriatrician, closed his busy geriatrics practice to accept a medical director position with a VA Hospital in the west. Increased paperwork, increased operational costs, increased time spent in the office; decreased reimbursements all added to his departure from Pennsylvania. Dr. Jan Hobbs, ENT, leaving his Lewisburg, PA practice on 12/31/02 due to increased malpractice costs. Ob/Gyn Susan Haack has stopped practicing in PA and will move to Michigan to join associate James Speicinger. Ob/Gyn Associates of Lewisburg received a call from a patient in Scranton seeking maternity/prenatal care; Scranton is 1 3/4 hours away from Lewisburg. Plastic Surgeon Richard Shatz closed his practice on Dec. 31, 2002 and moved to Illinois. Ob/Gyn James Speicinger moved to Michigan. Plastic Surgeon Alan Stryker left private practice in 2001 and joined the Army.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Warren County: Ob/Gyn Robert Moyer, practicing in Warren and Bradford, is relocating to Green Bay, Wisconsin in July, 2002.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Washington County: General Surgeon Robert George stopped practicing Dec. 31, 2002 due to premium increases. General Surgeon James Pareso will move to Colorado after 20 years of practicing in Washington, PA.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Westmoreland County: Ob/Gyn Dilip Kar, Latrobe, has closed his practice due to liability premiums. Ob/Gyn Dr. Lemmon, Westmoreland Regional Hospital, relocated to Ohio. Orthopedic Surgeon John MacPhail was forced to limit his practice to non-operative cases for a three-month period while searching for affordable coverage following receipt of a $50,000 premium for three months. Family Practitioner Christine O'Brien, Westmoreland Regional Hospital, has relocated to Colorado, citing an excessive and unreasonable malpractice premiums as one of the main reasons for her departure. General Surgeon Daniel Travers, Westmoreland Regional Hospital, has relocated to Colorado, citing an excessive and unreasonable malpractice premiums as one of the main reasons for his departure. Pediatrician Albert Callaghan has left the area. Family Practitioner George Gustanis has left the area. Family Practitioner James McGraw has left the area. Family Practitioner Jon Sternburg stopped delivering babies to reduce malpractice premiums.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Wyoming County: Two staff physicians at Tyler Memorial Hospital in Tunkhannock left the area in the past year, according to hospital President William Milligan.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- York County: Orthopedic Surgeon R. James Rinker cut practice in half and will retire early in 2002.

1 posted on 05/10/2003 7:41:45 AM PDT by bonesmccoy
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To: bonesmccoy
That is an impressive blood-letting. But quitting is about that only thing that will work...what catches my eye is the number of FPs on that list. What the heck are the hospitals doing? They can't move!
2 posted on 05/10/2003 7:46:45 AM PDT by Mamzelle
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To: bonesmccoy
We don't need health care reform.. we need TORT reform!! And that will never happen.. what are the vast majority of the house and senate ?? LAWYERS..

And you are right about Hillary's health care crapola.. we have what is basically Hillary light health care in my state and it has caused a lot of headaches. Cities in my state have to purchase the state health care for their employees.. as opposed to purchasing by the best price.. and it has caused a real burden on cities by about doubling the health care insurance cost to them and that is just one part of it.

3 posted on 05/10/2003 7:51:01 AM PDT by Zipporah
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To: Mamzelle; Tribune7
What the heck are the hospitals doing? They can't move!

Some are closing departments--maternity has been hard hit--others like Mercy Community Hospital In Haverford, Delaware County are closing down.

Fast Eddie is quoted in today's Daily Times as saying the doctors are being unreasonable in their request for caps on non-economic damages

4 posted on 05/10/2003 7:55:09 AM PDT by Temple Owl
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To: Mamzelle
OK... here's that info on closed or limited hospital services due to the problems in Pennsylvania.

______________________________________________________
The majority of this list was created by the PA Medical Society Alliance, with special thanks to the hard working Donna Baver Rovito.

Allegheny County:
Allegheny General Hospital reports a three month wait for screening mammograms due to a shortage of radiologists to read results.
Magee Women's Hospital reports a two month wait for routine mammograms and a five day to three week wait for women with palpable masses.
Magee's Breast Center, which does 40,000 routine mammograms and 17,000 additional procedures at six sites per year, has been unsuccessfully attempting to recruit radiologists to read mammograms for two years.
Pittsburgh Mercy Health System is ceasing ambulance services provided from four bases by Mercy Mobile Care in July, 2002, citing, in part, substantial increases in professional medical liability and malpractice insurance premiums.
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's mini-fellowship in endovascular surgery, offered to practicing physicians throughout the country, has been unable to fill its slots due to the inability of applicants to secure malpractice insurance in Pennsylvania for a three month period, according to Vascular Chief Michael Makaroun, who further notes that UPMC's fellowship charges no tuition while similar programs can charge up to $30,000 for three months of training.



Berks County:
Dr. Nabil Muallen, Reading Hospital, reports delivering a baby whose mother had all of her prenatal care in Philadelphia, but who had to find alternative care 60 miles aware because her 37 year-old obstetrician was forced to give up OB to reduce liability premiums.
Reading Hospital is unable to obtain, at any price, malpractice coverage exceeding state minimum requirements up to $10 million, but can purchase coverage OVER $10 million, creating a de facto $10 million "deductible" which would have to be covered by the hospital's own reserves.
Grand View Hospital's premiums increased from $900,000 in 2000 to $1.8 million in 2001 to $3 million this year, according to CEO Stuart Fine, who says that comes to more than $8,200 a day or $350 an hour. Fine further noted that 80% of the physicians who practice in their community have liability insurance policies which will expire Dec. 31, 2002.
Interventional Radiology at Doylestown Hospital is having difficulty recruiting radiologists because of liability and low reimbursements.



Bradford County:
A 100% increase in malpractice premiums has forced the Guthrie Clinic in Sayre to delay implementation of computerized order entry, computerized prescription writing and modernization of surgical areas, all of which would enhance patient safety and medical quality, according to CEO Kevin Carey, M.D.



Bucks County:
Doylestown Hospital lost money in 2001, according to the PA Health Care Cost Containment Council, due in part, to increased malpractice premiums, and expects to lose money again in 2002 as malpractice coverage has increased from $1.9 million for 2001 to $4.8 million for 2002, according to CEO Richard Reif.
Doylestown Hospital reports that only five of eight orthopedic surgeons on staff are able to take ER call, as one large three-doctor group can no longer perform surgery due to loss of insurance coverage and inability to pay a 160% increase to the JUA.
Doylestown Women's Health Center, Doylestown Hospital, experienced malpractice increases from $50,000 to $80,000 in the past year and was forced to lay off employees as a result of the increase, according to Ob/Gyn Jean Fitzgerald.
Interventional Radiology at Doylestown Hospital is having difficulty recruiting radiologists because of liability and low reimbursements.
Doylestown Hospital's VP and Chief Medical Officer Edwin Knopf reports that he used to get 12-15 inquiries a month from physicians interested in coming to the hospital. Now he doesn't get any.
Grand View Hospital's premiums increased from $900,000 in 2001 to $1.8 million in 2002, according to CEO Stuart Fine.
Grand View Hospital has closed the Medic 152 ambulance substation on Bethlehem Pike; officials cite rising malpractice premiums coupled with a downtown in reimbursements. The substation alone would have lost $130,000 this year if it had been kept open.
Pulmonologist Donna Hogue expects to have difficulty replacing associate Dr. Lorie Loreman when she leaves in June.
St. Luke's Quakertown lost money in 2001, due, in part, to high malpractice premiums.
St. Luke's Quakertown no longer has a gynecological surgeon on staff.
St. Luke's Quakertown has lost six specialists since last year.
St. Mary's Medical Center, Middletown, estimates that 13 physicians have left or scaled back services because of malpractice insurance.



Chester County:
Brandywine Hospital was forced to close its Level II Trauma Center on June 4, 2002 due to a lack of trauma surgeons, according to CEO R. Alan Larson, who cited "soaring malpractice premiums that are driving surgeons out of the state or into retirement." Severely injured patients must be transported to Philadelphia or Lancaster, about 30 miles away. The hospital says the closure is temporary and is actively recruiting trauma surgeons to replace the University of Pennsylvania Health System surgeons who had previously staffed the unit until that relationship with Penn ended earlier in June.
CAT Fund physician payment figures for 1997 showed 1,147 practicing physicians in Chester Countyfor 2000, only 770 physicians in Chester County paid CAT fund premiums.
Liability costs and reimbursement shortfalls forced closure of the Medic 92 Advanced Life Support Service, based at Paoli Hospital and serving all or part of five boroughs and townships in Chester County, according to Leland White, President of Main Line Health.
Brandywine Hospital lost $6 million in 2001, according to the PA Health Care Cost Containment Council, due, in part, to increasing malpractice costs.
Jennersville Regional Hospital (formerly Southern Chester Medical Center) lost $4.5 million in 2001, according to the PA Health Care Cost Containment Council, due, in part, to increasing malpractice premiums.
Medic 95 ALS unit is being closed at Phoenixville Hospital this October, in part due to liability costs as well as poor reimbursements. Consequently, the community will be at a much greater risk because the ER will have less ancillary staff to help decrease waits and treat cases effectively.
Brandywine Hospital lost $6 million in 2001, according to the PA Health Care Cost Containment Council, due, in part, to increasing malpractice costs.
Jennersville Regional Hospital (formerly Southern Chester Medical Center) lost $4.5 million in 2001, according to the PA Health Care Cost Containment Council, due, in part, to increasing malpractice premiums.
Phoenixville Hospital will close the Medic 95 ALS unit, due in part to liability costs as well as poor reimbursements. Consequently, the community will be at a much greater risk because the ER will have less ancillary staff to help decrease waits and treat cases effectively.
Brandywine Hospital has lost one of its two neurosurgeons, according to hief of staff Dr. James Holstein; he was forced to retire due to liability costs.



Clearfield Hospital:
Only two general surgeons remain on staff at Clearfield Hospital.



Columbia County:
Bloomsburg Hospital lost $1.5 million in 2001, according to the PA Health Care Cost Containment Council, due, in part, to increasing malpractice premiums, and expects to lose another $1 million in 2002, according to CEO Robert Spinelli.
Bloomsburg Hospital was hit with a 40% malpractice premium increase, hiking costs by $300,000 in 2001.
Bloomsburg Hospital laid off eight employees and consolidated and eliminated several other positions to offset losses incurred, in part, by increasing malpractice premiums.



Crawford Hospital:
Meadville Medical Center's Department of Ob/Gyn reports the impending retirement of a part-time Ob/Gyn at the end of the year due to malpractice premiums, leaving only two fulltime Ob/Gyn's and two family practitioners who deliver babies on staff, according to the chairman of the Ob/Gyn Department.



Cumberland County:
Holy Spirit Hospital, E. Pennsboro Township, is expecting a 100% malpractice premium increase, according to risk management director Franchesca Charney.



Dauphin County:
Pinnacle-Health System is paying $4.1 million for malpractice coverage in 2002, up from $2 million in 2001, according to senior VP Chris Markley, who also notes that the hospital's insurer, MIIX, is exiting the PA market and the hospital must find a new insurer by Dec. 31, 2002.
Pinnacle-Health System will eliminate two vice president positions, support services and gifts and endowments, in order to reduce increased costs caused in part by a 107% increase in malpractice premiums, according to Chris Markley, senior vice president of community and government relations.
A reduced number of qualified neurosurgeons and spine surgeons in Central PA has resulted in a minimum 3 to 6 month wait to see a physician for evaluation and surgical treatment of back and neck pain due to disc disease, according to the Dept. of Neurosurgery at PSU Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.
PSU Milton Hershey Medical Center Dept. of Ob/Gyn reports despite large ad campaigns, only three applications for our three positions have been received.



Delaware County:
Delaware County Memorial Hospital has lost one third of its operating staff.
Albert Einstein Healthcare Network, which includes Albert Einstein Medical Center, Moss Rehab, Belmont Behavioral Health and Germantown Community Health Services, announced layoff of 127 workers and elimination of 52 vacant positions due to a budget shortfall created by rising medical malpractice premiums, according to President and CEO Martin Goldsmith. This follows layoffs of 34 top managers and elimination of 21 vacant positions in November, 2001.
Albert Einstein Healthcare Network has lost 17 physicians since July 1, 2001 because of high insurance costs, according to CEO Goldsmith, resulting in decreased admissions and $10 million to $15 million in lower revenue for the system. They are having difficulty recruiting physicians to fill the vacancies.
Main Line Health Systems reports a malpractice premium increase of $2 million this past year.
Main Line Health Systems reports that their liability costs will be $11 million this year, an increase of 90% over the past two years, noting that "money that would otherwise go toward hiring and retaining staff, buying new technology and developing and retaining health services and programs" would be used to cover the increase One member hospital of Main Line Health Systems lost 30% of its Ob/Gyns in the past 18 months.
Main Line Health has closed the Medic 92 Advanced Life Support Unit, due in part to higher malpractice costs.
Mercy Community Hospital, Havertown, is closing impatient services and eliminating 400 jobs, while parent company Mercy Health System cites soaring malpractice premiums as one of the reasons for the decision.
Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital will terminate 23 paramedics covering Haverford, Marple and Newtown Townships on October 23, 2002, according to paramedic services director Larry Gentile, citing rising malpractice premium costs and a decline in reimbursement revenues for the decision.
One member hospital of Main Line Health Systems lost 30% of its OB/Gyns in the past 18 months.



Erie County:
Hamet Medical Center's malpractice premiums increased from $2 million in 2001 to $6 million in 2002.
MetroHealth Medical/Osteopathic Hospital, a 102 bed facility, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, according to CEO Debra Dragavan, citing tripled malpractice premiums, staff salaries and lower reimbursements as reasons for its $15 to $18 million debt.



Fayette County:
Uniontown Hospital, a rural community hospital, has lost 3 of its 5 orthopedic surgeons, according to Uniontown Hospital CEO Paul Bacharach.
When Laurel Highlands Ob/Gyn, which formerly delivered about half the babies in Fayette County, stops delivering babies on Nov. 1, 2002, Uniontown Hospital will have only four remaining obstetricians, according to CEO Paul Bacharach.
One of the orthopedic surgeons who left PA for Maryland retained the same malpractice insurance carrier, and saw his PA premium of $80,000 per year drop to $18,000 per year in Maryland.



Franklin County:
Chambersburg Hospital's maternity clinic for low income and uninsured women is closing due to soaring malpractice rates.



Lackawanna County:
Nine of 12 orthopedic surgeons no longer take trauma call in Scranton.
Ten ER physicians at Community Medical Center, Scranton, were forced to turn to the hospital for assistance in covering increased liability premiums after losing their insurance, and may be forced to stop practicing when the hospital assistance runs out, causing closure of the Emergency Room.
Three of five trained vascular surgeons in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area have left, according to Dr. William Host, President of Wyoming Valley Health Care System, and the remaining two will most likely close their practice on December 31, 2002.
Community Medical Center has been unable to attract a new orthopedic spin surgeon to Northeastern Pennsylvania, according to Orthopedic Surgeon Harry Schmaltz.
Community Medical Center has been unable to attract a new orthopedic spine surgeon to Northeastern Pennsylvania, according to Orthopedic Surgeon harry Schmaltz.
Nine of 12 orthopedic surgeons no longer take trauma call in Scranton.
Ten ER physicians at Community Medical Center, Scranton, were forced to turn to the hospital for assistance in covering increased liability premiums after losing their insurance, and may be forced to stop practicing on Nov. 30, 2002 , causing closure of the Emergency Room and Trauma Center.
In Scranton, 12 surgeons have retired or died in the past five years and none have been recruited to take their place, according to a CNN interview with Dr. Charles Bannon.
Pediatrician Marie Breslin, West Chester, stopped practicing medicine in her 30.
Pain Management Specialist Debra DeAngelo, Pain Management Specialists, has announced that the practice will close on Jan. 31, 2003 and they will leave PA. Her clinic is the only comprehensive pain management clinic in Lackawanna County.
Pediatrician Marie Breslin, West Chester, stopped practicing medicine in her 30.
Pain Management Specialist Debra DeAngelo, Pain Management Specialists, has announced that the practice will close on Jan. 31, 2003 and they will leave PA. Her clinic is the only comprehensive pain management clinic in Lackawanna County.
Pain Management Specialist Nicholas DeAngelo, Pain Management Specialists, has announced that the practice will close on Jan. 31, 2003 and they will leave PA. Her clinic is the only comprehensive pain management clinic in Lackawanna County.



Lancaster County:
Lancaster General Health Systems malpractice premiums increased from $2.3 million in 2001 to $5.3 million in 2002, to $9 million when it renewed coverage April 1, 2002.
WellSpan Health System, although self-insured, has total malpractice costs of $6.3 million in 2002.



Labanon County:
Good Samaritan Hospital, Lebanon, was forced to join a coalition of community hospitals to obtain coverage, but will likely face an 80% premium increase anyway, according to VP of Finance Bob Richards.



Lehigh County:
Sacred Heart Hospital lost money in 2001, according to the PA Health Care Cost Containment Council, due in part to increased malpractice premiums.



Luzerne County:
Greater Hazleton Health Alliance, which operates the former Hazleton State General Hospital and the former Hazleton-St. Joseph Medical Center, has announced layoffs of 25-30 workers due, in part, to a premium increase from $510,000 to $1.4 million for the Broad Street Campus and from $500,000 to $800,000 for the Church Street Campus, according to CEO Bernard Rudegeair, who also noted that the hospitals face a $3 million deficit by year's end.
Wyoming Valley Health Care System eliminated 52 positions on May 1, 2002, including nurses, accountants, and clerical staff, according to hospital President Dr. William Host. This follows the elimination of 23 managerial positions in April, 2002. These measures are expected to save the hospital $3.5 million, reducing a standing $10 million deficit, due in part to malpractice insurance premium increase, according to Dr. Host.



Mifflin County:
Lewistown Hospital eliminated 30 positions to save money on Jan. 26, 2002.



Monroe County:
In 1992, there were 10 orthopedic surgeons taking trauma call at Pocono Medical Center, the only major facility serving the Pocono's many busy ski areas; now there are only five taking trauma call.
Pocono Medical Center lost money in 2001, according to the PA Health Care Cost Containment Council, due in part to increased malpractice costs.
Pocono Medical Center is expecting its malpractice premiums to jump from $1.2 million to $3.4 million when its current policy expires in August, according to CEO Eugene LeBlond, who also noted that the insurance crisis has held up approval for the hospital's strategic plan to meet the growing needs of the county.



Montgomery County:
Abington Memorial Hospital's malpractice premiums have increased from $4 million in 2000, to $7 million in 2001, to $11.2 million in 2002, and are expected to soar to $20 million on July 1, 2002, according to CEO Dick Jones.
Abington Memorial Hospital's Ob/Gyn Residency program reports that of three graduates in 2002, one is moving to New York, one to NJ, and one is continuing fellowship training in PA.
Abington Memorial Hospital reports a 14-16 week wait for screening mammograms because of too few radiologists trained in reading mammograms as a result of high liability costs and low reimbursements.
Central Montgomery Medical Center, Hatfield Township, lost money in 2001, according to the PA Health Care Cost Containment Council, due in part to increased liability premiums.
Elkins Park Hospital lost $5 million in 2001, according to the PA Health Care Cost Containment Council, due, in part to increased malpractice costs.
Pottstown Memorial Medical Center reports recent loss of one orthopedic surgeon, one ENT specialist and one general surgeon as well, with no new applications for staff privileges in the past year.
Abington Memorial Hospital has already lost two of its seven neurosureons; two of the remaining five are currently interviewing in other states; and the hospital could lose six of its nine orthopedic surgeons, according to Richard Montalbano, vice president for management services.
Abington Memorial Hospital could be forced to close its trauma center in January if more of its trauma surgeons, orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons are forced to leave PA when their current coverage expires and they receive their malpractice premium increases for 2003.
Physicians at Lankenau Hospital report a five month wait to see a cardiologist since half of the staff has move or retired.
Montgomery Hospital reports extreme difficult in recruiting radiologists to replace departing group members.



Montour County:
Geisinger Medical Center in Danville has announced layoffs of 600 employees, including administration and 20 full and part-time physicians, resulting partly from malpractice premium increases, which cost the center $43 million last year and will rise 25-30% this year.
Geisinger Medical Center lost $1.6 million in 2001, according to the PA Health Care Cost Containment Council, due in part to malpractice increases.
Patients at Geisinger Medical Center's Bloomsburg Ob/Gyn clinic are now required to have deliveries and surgical procedures done at Geisinger's main campus in Danville, about 15 miles away, according to COO Frank Trembulak, who said the move was necessary to combat rising liability costs.



Northampton County:
With the departure of Neurosurgeons Barry Pollack and Gerald Zupruk, there will be no neurosurgeons on staff at Easton Hospital.
Easton Hospital lost money in 2001, according to the PA Health Care Cost Containment Council, due, in part, to increasing malpractice premiums.
St. Lukes Hospital, Bethlehem, was hit with a $5.7 million malpractice premium for 2001/02, up from $2.4 million in 1999/2000 following a $100 million award by a Philadelphia jury.



Philadelphia County:
Chestnut Hill Hospital, Philadelphia, which delivers 1,100 babies each year, reports a loss of eight Ob/Gyn physicians, from 14 to only 6, according to Ob/Gyn Department Chair Linda Dunn.
Drexel University, which manages several health care institutions, will lose its malpractice coverage in November, 2002, according to President Constantine Papakakis, who says their insurance carrier "won't even talk about renewal."
Albert Einstein Healthcare Network was forced to eliminate 234 jobs due to rising malpractice costs.
Albert Einstein Medical Center's Department of Orthopaedic Surgery reports that only two of its past nine graduates are practicing in PA, and that the current two graduates are both leaving PA, citing liability issues as a major reason, according to Residency Chairman John Handal, MD.
Jefferson Health System reports elimination of 179 jobs to offset expenses caused in part by malpractice premiums.
Jefferson Health System reports malpractice premium increases from $30 million in 2001 to $46 million in 2002, and expects an increase to $50 million in 2003.
Thomas Jefferson University Hospital reports a 2-3 month wait for mammograms.
Thomas Jefferson University Medical College has eliminated four Ob/Gyn physician positions due to malpractice premiums. "Premiums average $100,000 for each Ob/Gyn, and its too expensive for the department to maintain that many fullltime ob/gyn positions," according to Jefferson spokeswoman Phyllis Fisher.
Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals are eliminating a total of 270 positions, including those lost with the closing of Methodist Hospital's maternity ward, effective June 30, 2002, a result of the hospital group needing to "absorb a doubling" of its malpractice insurance premium, according to VP and COO Alan L. Brechbill.
MCP Hahnemann Hospital reports a two month wait for mammograms.
Tenet Health System's MCP Hahnemann Hospital lost $11.8 million in 2001, according to the PA Health Care Cost Containment Council.
Mercy Hospital will close its maternity ward effective Aug. 23, 2002; CEO Bernadette Mangan cited rapidly rising malpractice premiums as one of the reasons for the closure, noting that the move will save the hospital $2.5 million.
Mercy Suburban Hospital in Norristown is having trouble recruiting Ob/Gyn physicians to meet their growing needs, according to spokeswoman Sister Donna Watto.
Methodist Hospital closed its labor and delivery department, which has been operating since 1892 on June 1, 2002 in light of projected malpractice premium increase from $3 million to $6 million in 2002, according to CEO James Robinson. Methodist Hospital delivered almost 1,100 babies last year.
Methodist Hospital will eliminate 91 full and part-time positions as a result of closing its maternity ward.
Mercy and Methodist Hospitals, community hospitals serving South Philadelphia, have lost neurosurgical, obstetric and plastic surgical services entirely, according to the Politically Active Physicians Association (PAPA), which further notes that only one orthopedic group of three surgeons, one ENT group of two surgeons, and one urology group of two physicians remain to serve the two hospitals' emergency rooms, as compared to three years ago, when there were three ENT groups, three urology groups, three plastic surgeons and five obstetric practices, as well as neurosurgery coverage from two groups.
Temple University Hospital has lost four of seven staff neurosurgeons in the past three years, according to Department Chair Dr. Raj Narayan, who is himself leaving in July, 2002.
Temple University Health System's malpractice premiums have increased from $6 million 10 years ago to $40 million in 2002.
Temple University Health System is having trouble recruiting neurosurgical residents because "they know there's virtually no chance of starting a practice here because of the medical malpractice insurance costs," according to CEO Joseph W. Marshall III.
Gastroenterologists at Tenet Parkview Hospital no longer do hospital consults because of liability.
University of Pennsylvania Health System reports $10-$20 million increase in premiums for 2002.
The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania reports a 2-3 month wait for screening mammograms due to a radiologist shortage.
In the last two years, Philadelphia and its suburbs have lost seven out of 39 maternity units. "Not one hospital in South Philadelphia is delivering babies," says Joanne Fischer, executive director of the Maternity Care Coalition, a Philadelphia advocacy group.
Philadelphia malpractice awards and settlements make up nearly half of the record $348 million paid out by a state fund in the last 12 months.
Not one hospital in South Philadelphia is delivering babies, says Joanne Fischer, executive director of the Maternity Care Coalition, a Philadelphia advocacy group.



Washington County:
Monongahela Valley Hospital reports malpractice premium increases from $664,000 in 2000 to $745,000 in 2001 to $1.1 million in 2002.
Washington Hospital has announced that it will delay a much needed $54 million expansion project due, in part, to the looming malpractice insurance crisis, according to President and CEO Telford W. Thomas.



Wayne County:
Wayne Memorial Hospital, Honesdale, reports a 60% increase in malpractice premiums, according to CEO David Hoff.



Wyoming County:
Tyler Memorial Hospital, a 60-bed facility in Tunkhannock,, has reported a $1 million possible loss by June 30, 2002 due to reduced patient levels and liability insurance issues, according to hospital President William Milligan, who further noted that two staff physicians left the area in the past year, which probably contributed to lower patient levels.
Family Practitioner Edward Zurad, Tyler Memorial Hospital, Tunkhannock, named 2002's Pennsylvania Family Physician of the Year by the Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians, will lose his insurance coverage at the end of the year when Princeton Insurance drops PA physicians coverage, and is considering leaving the state because he cannot find affordable alternative coverage.



York County:
York Hospital reports $4 million malpractice premiums in 2001, with an expected 40-60% increase in 2002 Memorial Hospital's malpractice premiums have tripled from $500,000 two years ago to $1.5 million this year, according to CEO Sally Dixon.



Eastern Pennsylvania:
From 1997 to 2000, the number of obstetricians in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton and Philadelphia counties dropped from 1,145 to 939, an 18% decreaseand those numbers are from before malpractice premiums began their 21-60% increases in January, 2001, according to figures from the PA Medical Malpractice CAT Fund and the US Census Bureau. The number of orthopaedic surgeons from the same area and time frame decreased 20%, from 568 to 453 In January, 2002, 17 southeastern PA hospitals were forced to restrict services as a result of lack of physician coverage, according to Andrew Wigglesworth, president of the Delaware Valley Healthcare Council, which represents 150 hospitals and healthcare systems in PA, NJ and parts of Delaware.



Western Pennsylvania:
Hospitals in the 27-county Western PA region average 71% malpractice premium increases over the past 12 months.



Statewide Information:
The American Medical Association (AMA) identifies Pennsylvania as one of 12 states where the malpractice climate has reached "crisis proportions".
Pennsylvania has been identified by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) as one of nine "Red Hot Alert States" where care is most at risk due to the medical liability insurance crisis.
Pennsylvania hospitals are paying more than $180 million in additional premiums compared to one year ago, according to the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of PA.
One third of Pennsylvania's hospitals lost money in 2001, according to the PA Health Care Cost Containment Council.
Six percent of PA's hospitals have been forced to obtain insurance from the Joint Underwriters Authority (JUA), the insurer of last resort, at rates 50% higher than commercial insurers.
Throughout Pennsylvania, 20 mammography clinics closed in 2001 due to a shortage of radiologists trained to read mammograms. According to national figures, only 4% of radiologists train to read mammograms due to the extremely high incidence of litigation, high cost of malpractice coverage and low reimbursements.
There are 30% fewer neurosurgeons in PA than in 1998, according to the neurosurgical specialty society.
Malpractice litigation is responsible nationwide for $5 billion in new health care costs annually, according to the American Association of Health Plans, equivalent to the cost of health coverage for two million Americans.
Of combined high-risk specialties, including orthopaedics, ob/gyn and neurosurgery, 83-87% of residents and fellows trained in Pennsylvania are settling outside of the state, according to the PA Orthopaedic Society.
Nearly two third of the hospitals in PA report that physicians are retiring early, curtailing practices and relocating as a result of increasing liability costs, according to a November 2002 survey of 150 hospitals and health systems, released by the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of PA (HAP).
The total cost of medical liability coverage has increased 215% over the past 12 months and 25% of hospitals reported premium increases exceeding 300%, according to the HAP survey.
One third of PA hospitals reported closing, temporarily closing or otherwise limiting services due to physicians loss and rising liability premiums, according to the HAP.
HAP reports that 75 hospitals services have been discontinued over the past 12 months among its members, with specialty services like obstetrics, orthopedics, general and neurosurgery most severely affected.
HAP reports that more than half of hospitals are having difficulty recruiting physicians to fill vacant positions, and the members of active medical staffs have been denied commercial liability insurance and forced to find alternate coverage in the past 12 months.

5 posted on 05/10/2003 7:55:15 AM PDT by bonesmccoy (Defeat the terrorists... Vaccinate!)
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To: bonesmccoy
Delaware County: Delaware County Medical Society Executive Director David McKeighan notes that since 1997, 17% of member doctors have left, and currently, they're losing six each month.

I would rather have a county without lawyers than one without doctors.

6 posted on 05/10/2003 7:56:42 AM PDT by Tribune7
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To: Zipporah
TORT REFORM NOW!

To this, Loretta Sanchez, RAT from Santa Ana says that the lawyers aren't the problem.

What a joke.
7 posted on 05/10/2003 7:58:25 AM PDT by bonesmccoy (Defeat the terrorists... Vaccinate!)
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To: Tribune7
I'd like to see those lawyers have a heart attack and end up in that 2 doctor hospital.

while rat law firms have dozens of attorneys and staff, there are no doctors in some of our towns here in california.

dear friends in PA, if you want to know what's coming for you, look at our screwed up state of California.
8 posted on 05/10/2003 8:01:28 AM PDT by bonesmccoy (Defeat the terrorists... Vaccinate!)
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To: bonesmccoy
"insurance gouging", LOFL!!!

The scumbag lawyers and their "jackpot justice" have nothing to do with it, nothing at all.
9 posted on 05/10/2003 8:04:39 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: bonesmccoy
I am entirely sympathetic to the physicians' position, but I think it is too narrow. The problem in this country is with the litigiousness of our society, encouraged by the surplus of attorneys.

We really need widespread reform, not simply limited fixes for various groups.

This 'crisis' is an opportunity for physicians and others to lead the way toward widespread reform. Alas, there is little hope of that....

Since physicians in the 60s accepted the premise of government medicine, accepting 'practical' approaches to government involvement in medicine and our lives, they, the majority, have ben reduced to narrow battles such as this, in which they are destined to lose, in the long run.
10 posted on 05/10/2003 9:37:16 AM PDT by RJCogburn (Yes, I will call it bold talk for a......)
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To: Lancey Howard
If it was truly insurance gouging, you'd see the stock of insurance companies go up sky high. Since the reverse has been true, follow the money and you'll see it with the lawyers. Unfortunately the lawyers are in private practices and we only can see their big houses go up.
11 posted on 05/10/2003 9:53:51 AM PDT by winner3000
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To: bonesmccoy; Chancellor Palpatine
I am stunned. The hospital situation is dire, indeed, in Pennsylvania. Will be particularly interested in the situation in Scranton, and will follow it. Notice how trauma care is affected...?
12 posted on 05/10/2003 10:26:34 AM PDT by Mamzelle
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To: bonesmccoy
re: There are 30% fewer neurosurgeons in PA than in 1998, according to the neurosurgical specialty society.)))

Eek. Do you know what this means, come the car wreck?

Are the hospitals going to find themselves liable for not managing to have neuros on staff...their only hope is to close the ER.

13 posted on 05/10/2003 10:38:44 AM PDT by Mamzelle
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To: Temple Owl
What does PA law have to say about a hospital's requirements to maintain an ER? Most states do not require a hospital to maintain one, and an ER is a bigger lawsuit magnet than an OB ward. Besides, if you lose your GS's and neuros and orthos, it doesn't do much good to have an ER, anyway.
14 posted on 05/10/2003 10:47:13 AM PDT by Mamzelle
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To: Mamzelle
what catches my eye is the number of FPs on that list

FP and Primary Care IM are rapidly becoming non-viable economically. Fees have been successfully controlled, cut in many cases-and costs have continued to escalate.

15 posted on 05/10/2003 10:51:09 AM PDT by Jim Noble
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To: bonesmccoy
Good post. KDKA has been running slimy commercials from a trial lawyer funded group calling themselves "Pennsylvania Citizens for Fairness". I have been unable to find an email or website for them.
16 posted on 05/10/2003 10:52:10 AM PDT by Hacksaw
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To: Mamzelle
Let's face it-the sheeple are getting what they want.
17 posted on 05/10/2003 10:56:03 AM PDT by Jim Noble
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To: Jim Noble
FPs would be the ones who'd find it easiest to drop their hospital privileges and work only a clinic practice, which would then allow them to "go bare" with fewer obstacles. We'll see some notices on office doors..."Go ahead and sue me, I'm uninsured and under-asseted."

Lawyers would have to sue twice--once for the judgement, then next to find the money.

18 posted on 05/10/2003 11:00:08 AM PDT by Mamzelle
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To: bonesmccoy
Rendell says, "Don't bug me, doc"
19 posted on 05/10/2003 11:11:12 AM PDT by Mamzelle
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To: Mamzelle
re: There are 30% fewer neurosurgeons in PA than in 1998, according to the neurosurgical specialty society.)))

Eek. Do you know what this means, come the car wreck?

Are the hospitals going to find themselves liable for not managing to have neuros on staff...their only hope is to close the ER.

Hmmm. This must explain the winner my husband got when he was in an auto accident this past winter and fractured a neck vertebra. Actually, since hubby's neck is fine, I guess I won't quibble with the guy's work, but his bedside manner was really unacceptable.

20 posted on 05/10/2003 11:39:28 AM PDT by freesia2
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To: bonesmccoy
Strong work, great post! I'm a doc in Kentucky where we are about 1 year at most behind PA. I'm 50 years old and at the prime of my career, but I anticipate possibly closing up shop at the end of the year due to the malpractice crisis. I live in fear that if I have any upset patients or adverse outcomes I will receive another call from the protectors of the little guys, who will then try to acquire my house, children's education fund, etc.

Now, if you don't mind, I'm going to take an extra Zoloft today.
21 posted on 05/10/2003 11:50:26 AM PDT by JusPasenThru (We're through being cool (you can say that again, Dad))
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To: JusPasenThru
JusPasenThru, I am in Pa. and recently attended a meeting with our state representative, who is working on this issue. He believes that limiting pain and suffering awards, coupled with a peer review process to weed out bad docs, will go a long way toward solving this crisis. He is also trying to find a way to have the issue addressed more quickly than the normal legislative process allows. I am interested in doing some letter writing to urge action on this obviously very important issue. From your point of view as a physician, is my rep.'s plan a good one? And/or are there other things that you think need to be considered?
22 posted on 05/10/2003 12:02:51 PM PDT by freesia2
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To: freesia2
Thanks for all your efforts. Please check your mailbox for my thoughts on the matter.

In the meantime, as I am at the office this afternoon doing paperwork (imagine that!), I printed this entire thread minus the rants, placed it in a transparent binder, and put it on my waiting room.
23 posted on 05/10/2003 12:13:54 PM PDT by JusPasenThru (We're through being cool (you can say that again, Dad))
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To: bonesmccoy
LOL.I think Calif. actually solved it's malpractice liability problem. At least Pa. doctors want the state to base its damage cap the California model.
24 posted on 05/10/2003 12:19:36 PM PDT by Tribune7
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To: bonesmccoy
Some other threads you might find of interest

Dem State Senator Supports Docs In Pa.

Doctors Tell County Council Of Their Malpractice Insurance Plight

25 posted on 05/10/2003 12:26:44 PM PDT by Tribune7
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To: freesia2
You wrote:

" Actually, since hubby's neck is fine, I guess I won't quibble with the guy's work, but his bedside manner was really unacceptable."

*******************************************************

One of the best surgeons I know....is considered a control freak perfectionist...by the staff. And many of them fear him or hate him. Besides that he has marginal bedside manner........

But I happen to like the guy..and would "use" him in a heartbeat..!!

BWDIK........

26 posted on 05/10/2003 12:43:31 PM PDT by Osage Orange (A pig is still a pig.....even dressed up.)
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To: bonesmccoy
Slow down. MANY of these malpractice lawsuits are legitimate.It's simply not true that ALL judges are liberals and all juries are liberals.

The root problem is this ->admiting ANY human being that breathes into medical school based on ANYTHING but MERIT is your root problem. The medical industry at LARGE refuses to address the massive incompetency that is ongoing in their profession. They refuse to take away licenses from doctors that are incompetent. It's similar to the old days with the police - where there is a wall of silence when it comes to weeding out those that have NO business in that profession.

SO till they clean house, I don't care how high their liability rates go. If need be, let them drive out the incompetent ones through lawsuits. The good doctors don't have lawsuits and their liability insurance is more affordable. That is the ugly truth about the situation.

27 posted on 05/10/2003 12:53:32 PM PDT by nmh
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To: freesia2
We're talking neurosurgeon, I'm afraid. Most are at their best when the patient is unconscious.
28 posted on 05/10/2003 1:18:05 PM PDT by Mamzelle
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To: nmh
All docs are being driven out--these crisis falls on the just and the unjust alike. Hospitals, other support staff, too. When teachers are bad, you can homeschool.

Don't think "home emergency room" 's going to cut it.

re: I don't care how high their liability rates go.

I see. Should your hospital administration, driven out of business, care when you don't get the treatment you need, when you need it?

29 posted on 05/10/2003 1:23:19 PM PDT by Mamzelle
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To: freesia2
re: coupled with a peer review process to weed out bad docs)))

You'll need to provide this board with some protections, too, or no one will serve on it.

If I could suggest, a peer-review board to weed out some of the lawsuits would help, too. If there is accountability and sensible limitations, I think you'll find that docs and hospital admins want to see patients compensated. It was doctors, historically, who started the insurance in their first place. It's the lottery and circus atmospherics that have made all dig in their heels.

Proper stewardship is the answer. The system can no longer support a class of parasites in fabulous luxury.

30 posted on 05/10/2003 1:29:54 PM PDT by Mamzelle
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To: Mamzelle
I don't know. I suspect, however, that whatever law there is favors ambulance chasing lawyers.
31 posted on 05/10/2003 1:36:32 PM PDT by Temple Owl
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To: Temple Owl
I'm not sure, of course, but I would wager that PA does not require by license or statute that a hospital maintain an emergency services department.

People assume automatically that this is general law, but consider how such a law would be enforced. It would be unworkable. You'd have to define levels (trauma) of services, nature of what is required--and these are left to the boards of hospitals.

Now--the ER is a big money-loser even without the problem of liability insurance. Under better circumstances than is seen in PA, hospitals lose 40-60% on every patient in the ER. But it IS law that an ER see and evaluate all comers, and the ER usually ends up treating all comers, too. Add to that that illegal aliens know this, and use the ER. The pressures to close these departments are staggering.

So, why keep any open?

It'll amaze you, the answer. Because the boards recognize that such a service is part of their duty to the community, part of their mission as a hosptial, part of the essential identity of what they are and what they do.

So when you want to moan about the long waits and grumpy nurses--remember they could just shut it down.

Part of me really wishes they would, that Atlas would shrug.

32 posted on 05/10/2003 1:45:59 PM PDT by Mamzelle
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To: Mamzelle
A terrific response. I agree completely agree.
33 posted on 05/10/2003 1:50:00 PM PDT by Temple Owl
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To: bonesmccoy
Fighting mad doctors are fed up with Democrats screwing with the lives of the American people.

Or are they mad about high malpractice insurance premiums? There is a difference.

If it's just the high premiums, the DemocRAT'S solution will be to have the premiums paid by the government (i.e. the taxpayers). This is not desired at all. It is the WRONG solution.

The correct solution is to severely narrow the scope for trial attorney action, fees, and restrict liability. In addition malpractice should be criminalized, not kept as a feeding ground for the trial lawyers.

If there's no money in it, the problem goes away. Don't just shift the cost to the taxpayers.

34 posted on 05/10/2003 2:38:45 PM PDT by jimkress
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To: freesia2
coupled with a peer review process to weed out bad docs

What makes a doctor "bad"?

And once they are "weeded out", who will do the work they do now?

35 posted on 05/10/2003 2:42:16 PM PDT by Jim Noble
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To: nmh
The medical industry at LARGE refuses to address the massive incompetency that is ongoing in their profession

Please define "massive incompetency".

Please relate your definition to the ability to a) Graduate from college, b) Graduate from medical school, c) Pass National Boards, d) Pass certifying exams, e) Pass license exams, f) Get staff privileges and keep them.

36 posted on 05/10/2003 2:45:28 PM PDT by Jim Noble
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To: bonesmccoy
Did the doctors in Jacksonville, FL go on strike as planned on May 2?
37 posted on 05/10/2003 2:47:08 PM PDT by snopercod
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To: jimkress
In addition malpractice should be criminalized

What is your concept of malpractice as a criminal act? (i.e., what would I have to do to be guilty of this "crime"?)

38 posted on 05/10/2003 2:47:39 PM PDT by Jim Noble
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To: Jim Noble
If, through your negligence or through your specific incompetence, someone comes to harm, you would be prosecuted.
39 posted on 05/10/2003 2:55:03 PM PDT by jimkress
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To: Mamzelle
We're talking neurosurgeon, I'm afraid. Most are at their best when the patient is unconscious.

LOLOL. Yes, I believe you're correct.

40 posted on 05/10/2003 3:19:34 PM PDT by freesia2 (A Pennsylvania Republican who never even momentarily considered voting for creepy Fast Eddie)
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To: Jim Noble
What makes a doctor "bad"?

That is not up to me do decide, but would be up to the peer review group.

And once they are "weeded out", who will do the work they do now?

Jim, I really don't think there are that many of them, and I hope the work would be done by all the remaining competent docs who no longer felt the need to flee out of state or to retire early.

41 posted on 05/10/2003 3:22:52 PM PDT by freesia2 (A Pennsylvania Republican who never even momentarily considered voting for creepy Fast Eddie)
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To: Mamzelle
Mamzelle, I agree with your points in your post 22 to me and appreciate your input.
42 posted on 05/10/2003 3:58:31 PM PDT by freesia2 (A Pennsylvania Republican who never even momentarily considered voting for creepy Fast Eddie)
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To: snopercod
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Philip Gilbert, Executive Vice President
(904) 355-6561
E-mail: evp@dcmsonline.org


The Duval County Medical Society is Shocked at Senate
Judiciary Committee’s Medical Malpractice Reform Package

Jacksonville, FL (April 10, 2003) The Florida Senate’s Judiciary Committee’s medical malpractice reform package has failed the people of Florida, and the Duval County Medical Society expresses shock at the legislators’ apparent lack of understanding and concern regarding Florida’s healthcare crisis.

Instead of focusing on the root causes of the current medical liability crisis, the Senate has elected to toss aside the highly researched and documented findings of the Governor’s Task Force. They have decided to proceed with protecting the interest of a few trial lawyers over the health and welfare needs of the citizens of Florida and those who visit our state, by refusing to address caps on non-economic damages.

The action of the Florida Senate Judiciary Committee will do little to nothing in solving the medical liability crisis, but goes a long way in forcing the medical delivery system in Florida into a “meltdown.”

The Duval County Medical Society will continue to do everything possible to keep our local medical delivery system operating and available to meet the needs of our members’ patients. However we need everyone’s help in contacting each member of the Duval Legislative Delegation. We must demand that the politics stop and the critical health and welfare needs of the people be addressed – immediately.



--- At least 100 surgeons have walked off and the county has declared an emergency. I have started a work slowdown. We need help from FR to publicize our problem with the trial attorneys. Sen Jim King is blocking tort reform legislation either because he has been bought off or the trial lawyers have dirt on him. The sleazebag is vacationing in Italy this week.
43 posted on 05/10/2003 6:19:12 PM PDT by eartotheground
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To: bonesmccoy
The malpractice insurance companies are engaging in illegal conduct and are forcing physicians out of practice

No-no-no-no-no! Ask any doctor on this list, he will tell you the problem is not insurance companies but filthy greedy scum-sucking lawyers. These vermin are the enemy of civilization and must be destroyed. Tort reform NOW-- drive the lawyer b**tards out of business by the hundreds of thousands, until they are all washing dishes and selling apples on street corners-- and rejoice in the lamentations of their homeless wives and children.

-ccm

44 posted on 05/10/2003 6:24:29 PM PDT by ccmay
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To: nmh
The good doctors don't have lawsuits and their liability insurance is more affordable.

You are a G*d D*****d LIAR and I would be glad to say so to your face. Must be a shill for the ambulance chasing leeches, if not actually one yourself.

-ccm

45 posted on 05/10/2003 6:30:04 PM PDT by ccmay
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To: ccmay; Admin Moderator; nmh
Moderator please remove my comment #45. While I vehemently disagree with the assertion that The good doctors don't have lawsuits and their liability insurance is more affordable, I regret turning it into a personal attack.

-ccm

46 posted on 05/10/2003 7:15:54 PM PDT by ccmay
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To: nmh
You read the above...why would anybody with any brains or options-in other words -the kind of a person you'd want at the other end of the stethoscope- have anything to do with this kind of garbage?.The world being created in the day-to-day practice of medicine, looks from the outside to be pretty crumby.....consequently the types winding up in it are those less capable.
47 posted on 05/10/2003 8:09:33 PM PDT by mo
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To: nmh
What a load of crap. The doctors getting screwed are not the incompetent ones; they are the ones whose numbers have been called in the medicolegal lottery.

For your information, everytime, and I mean everytime a medical staff tries to take action against a bad apple, said bad apple promptly hires an attorney and threatens to sue the medical staff into the ground.

I hope you end up in a PA ER. Good luck.
48 posted on 05/10/2003 8:24:14 PM PDT by JusPasenThru (We're through being cool (you can say that again, Dad))
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To: jimkress
Health care should not receive the same legal evaluation as product liability.

Medical judgement is risky. Physicians can be wrong, but should not be subjected to financial ruin at the hands of unscrupulous litigation.

You clearly do not understand the differences between fictional views of healthcare and the reality (and limitations) of our relatively poor dataset from which to judge illness and interventions.
49 posted on 05/11/2003 1:13:50 AM PDT by bonesmccoy (Defeat the terrorists... Vaccinate!)
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To: jimkress
If, through your negligence or through your specific incompetence, someone comes to harm, you would be prosecuted.

Are you crazy? Who would work under such conditions? Would you?

You think we have a medical meltdown now, try getting this passed and see what happens.

We already have laws concerning negligent homicide, assault and battery, sexual harrassment, rape, fraud, etc., which apply to everyone, and cover essentially all truly malicious acts by physicians.

-ccm

50 posted on 05/11/2003 1:27:22 AM PDT by ccmay
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