Medical Malpractice:

Estimated Savings and Costs of Federal Insurance at Health Centers

HRD-93-130: Published: Sep 24, 1993. Publicly Released: Sep 24, 1993.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed how medical malpractice insurance legislation will affect community and migrant health centers that receive federal grants, focusing on grantees': (1) medical malpractice insurance costs; and (2) ability to provide more health care services.

GAO found that: (1) the Public Health Service is authorized to oversee medical malpractice claims involving community and migrant health center grantees and their health care providers under federal tort claims legislation; (2) grantees could reduce or eliminate their malpractice insurance premiums by $55 million under a 3-year program; (3) claims settlements could total $27 million between 1993 and 1995; (4) a federal tort claim program could increase government costs to resolve grantees' malpractice claims because it does not limit the amount of each claim filed and provides a different insurance coverage; and (5) the total costs to the government will depend on the number of eligible grantees, what services will be covered, and whether the methodology used to calculate future payments is reasonable.

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