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Starting January 1, 2008, Physicians practicing in Wayne County will see a 13% drop in medical malpractice insurance rates.

Statewide and Wayne County malpractice rates will decrease by an average of 6.5 percent in 2008, making Michigan lower than Illinois and Ohio, according to data from the American Physicians Assurance Corp., the largest malpractice insurance company.

The decrease is a clear indication that Michigan’s 1993 tort reforms are working, says the Michigan State Medical Society.

The East Lansing firm, which insures 3,900 policyholders, mostly doctors, is dropping malpractice rates in 2008 because so-called tort reform laws passed by the Legislature in 1993 have curbed malpractice awards from juries and judges, company officials said Tuesday at a news briefing in Detroit. They were joined by three professional physician societies and a nonprofit health recruitment organization.

Obstetricians, Orthopedic surgeons and Neurosurgeons, who typically face more lawsuits than primary doctors due to higher risks, will see a slowing in malpractice costs.

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