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State says medical malpractice cases down in Missouri


Jefferson City, Mo. – The number of medical malpractice claims pending in Missouri has reached a record low.

A state insurance department report released Tuesday shows there were slightly more than 3,000 malpractice cases pending against doctors, hospitals and other health care providers at the end of last year.

Insurance Department spokesman Travis Ford says that's the lowest number since the agency began keeping records about 30 years ago.

Malpractice claims have dropped since then-Gov. Matt Blunt and the Republican-led Legislature enacted a 2005 law restricting injury lawsuits.

The report shows Missouri's malpractice insurers made a profit for the fifth straight year in 2008.

It also shows an increase in the number of medical providers getting insurance through nonprofit coalitions.