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President Bush's Call to Curb Litigation Costs Will Help Stem Tide of Medical Practice Closures

ACP-ASIM Urges Congress to Pass HEALTH Act to Preserve Access to Care

July 26, 2002

(WASHINGTON, DC) President George W. Bush's push to reign in the skyrocketing profes-sional liability costs that are driving medical practices to curtail services or close their doors al-together, was praised today by the President of the American College of Physicians - Ameri-can Society of Internal Medicine, the nation's largest group of medical specialists.

"Medical practices in more than a dozen states are being forced to limit services or shut down entirely because of professional liability costs," said Sara Walker, MD, MACP, president of ACP-ASIM. "These losses leave patients vulnerable."

"The number of insurers who will no longer issue policies to doctors without blemishes on their records tells you how unbalanced the legal system has become," said Dr Walker. "We urge Congress to pass the common sense solutions contained in HR 4600, the HEALTH Act, to safeguard patients' access to care."

Dr. Walker points out that physicians facing huge increases in professional liability premiums are still one step ahead of their colleagues who are not even offered the option of renewing their policies.

"We commend President Bush's efforts to highlight this issue and encourage Congress to pass comprehensive professional liability insurance reform before the end of this session," said Dr. Walker.

The American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine is the second largest physician group. Membership encompasses more than 115,000 internal medicine physicians and medical students.

Contact:

Jack Pope, Washington Office, (202) 261-4556
Jennifer Whalen, Washington Office, (202) 261-4575

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