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(TRENTON) — Legislation Assemblymen Herb Conaway, M.D., and Jack Conners sponsored to extend medical malpractice insurance subsidies for five years was released Thursday by the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee.

“As was recently highlighted by the Women’s Legislative Caucus hearing, the extreme high cost of medical malpractice insurance is a significant contributing factor behind doctor shortages in specific specialties,” said Conaway (D-Burlington) the committee’s chair and a practicing physician. “We must do anything we can to provide a competitive advantage for doctors to keep practicing in New Jersey.”

Under the Conaway/Conners bill (A-2807), the state’s Medical Malpractice Liability Insurance Premium Assistance Fund would be reinstated for five years. The fund provides subsidies to healthcare providers who — as a specific class of health care provider — are most severely impacted by high medical malpractice premium rates. In addition, monies from the fund are allocated for various health care purposes, including:

  • the Health Care Subsidy Fund, for charity care subsidies to hospitals;
  • the Primary Care Physican and Dentist Loan Redemption Program; and
  • student loan expense reimbursement for certain obstetrician/gynecologists.

“Adequate access to health care services is of critical importance to New Jerseyans,” said Conners (D-Camden). “Any steps we can take to ensure our doctors are there when we need them should be taken without hesitation.”

The measure now heads to the Assembly Speaker, who decides if and when to post it for a floor vote.

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