Survey says liability premiums are down

Insurance premiums for hospital and professional medical liability will decrease in 1996 due to increased capacity, according to a survey conducted by Alexander & Alexander, a risk management consulting and insurance services company based in New York City.

Alexander & Alexander's survey cites the widespread consolidation of hospitals and group practices as the reason for the increasing capacity. The consulting group predicts that by the year 2000 the nation's current number of community hospitals will shrink to just 1,500, while 80% of doctors will belong to group networks. The survey also warns that the downward pricing trend may not continue. The practice consolidations could result in barriers to doctors being able to build independent practices, which could result in antitrust lawsuits and significant directors' and officers' claims.

A complete report on market conditions is available from Alexander & Alexander's communications department, 1185 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020. Telephone: (212) 444-4547. Fax: (212) 444-4697. *