As costs for medical malpractice insurance continues to increase for obstetricians, they way they handle their patients and delivering babies may change. Premiums may run as high as $200,000 a year. And that may force doctors to hand off their patients to doctors on staff at the hospital when they go into labor.
For expectant moms it means their gynecologists, after shepherding them through nine months, would hand them over to a “laborist” — a hospital staff doctor specializing in delivering babies.
“I think it’s going to compromise the care,” said Dr. David Herzog, who is an attending physician and also teaches at Richmond University Medical Center on Staten Island. A baby’s birth will become “a sterile procedure instead of a beautiful experience; it’s inevitable if the current system continues as is.”
Obstetricians have one of the highest rates of medical malpractice lawsuilts filed against them in the United States. On average an ob/gyn will have to face three lawsuits in their career.