How closed-door discussions on malpractice coverage came to light

Published on
September 2, 2011

The story about a potential hike malpractice premiums was prompted by a doctor's phone call. I hadn't heard about it because the discussions had been taking place in connection with the local hospital negotiating a contract with emergency physicians, and those discussions take place behind closed doors.

By contacting the local medical society, I obtained a copy of a letter from the California Medical Association to Catholic Healthcare West, which laid out the issues in detail. This was very helpful because Catholic Healthcare West provided a statement explaining only why a change was under consideration (some rates hadn't changed in 25 years).

Professional groups that represent emergency physicians were key sources, and confirmed that the issue was not only a local one, but one with consequences statewide.