Another shutdown of Washington County Hospital's trauma center? It could happen, according to Dr. Karl Riggle, if there is no action on the medical malpractice crisis by Jan. 1.
While elected officials play their political chess game, seeking advantage in the crisis, physicians are planning to act in a way that will reduce the availability of medcial care. Gov. Robert Ehrlich and the Maryland General Assembly's legislative leaders must take action now to prevent that.
The best chance for doing that is a freeze on malpractice insurance premiums due in January.
The state insurance commissioner has the power to freeze the rate increase given to Medical Mutual Inurance Company earlier this year.
That's the word from Assistant Attorney General Kathleen Birrane, who The Washington Post said sent a memo to that effect to Ehrlich aide Donald Hogan on Nov. 26.