Statement by MSSNY President Charles Rothberg, MD re: Revised Lavern’s Law


Medical Society of the State of New York

865 Merrick Ave. Westbury, NY 11590-9007
Communications Division
Telephone: (516) 488-6100

For Immediate Release

Statement by MSSNY President Charles Rothberg, MD re: Revised Lavern’s Law

Revised Law Makes Improvements But Still Harmful to Patient Care Delivery

“New York’s physicians are very disappointed in the soon to be enactment of a one-sided law that will drive up already exorbitant liability premiums, increase defensive Medicine costs, and discourage doctors from practicing in New York. The amendments to S.6800 reduce some of the many problems with this legislation but it was a lost opportunity by the Legislature and the Governor to address our longstanding dysfunctional medical malpractice adjudication system. It is shocking that, at a time when New York hospitals and doctors continue to have the highest liability costs in the country, and we have been labeled the worst state to be a doctor, a law has been enacted to increase lawsuits and costs even further.

Even with the amendments, this new law is going to make New York an even more difficult place to keep and retain physicians to deliver patient care, particularly in rural and inner city areas most of need of specialty care physicians. Patients may be recommended to receive more diagnostic testing and more specialty referrals, that the doctor may not believe is clinically necessary, so that the doctor may be better able to defend themselves if a suit were to happen years later.

Again, the final agreement failed to achieve the balance so needed between preserving rights to the courts for injuries caused by negligence while at the same time assuring that our health care institutions and providers will be able to continue deliver the care expected in the communities we serve.

We urge the Legislature and the Governor to now work together to take steps to enact needed reforms to help preserve patients continued access to needed primary and specialty physician care in New York.”

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Founded in 1807, the Medical Society of the State of New York is the state’s principal non-profit professional organization for physicians, residents and medical students of all specialties. Its mission is to represent the interests of patients and physicians to assure quality healthcare services for all.

Media Contact:
Roseann Raia
Medical Society of the State of New York
516.488.6100 x 302