Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: One Step Closer to Insanity
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So I was reading our local Sunday newspaper today which had a feature on OB's and their rising malpractice premiums and the fact that many are choosing to leave the practice of delivering babies. This has been a HUGE deal in NJ as OBs here often pay $79k-$100k in malpractice premiums and are often sued for normal life-saving interventions (for example, using normal non-c/s techniques for treating a shoulder dystocia -- and then getting sued for not knowing how big baby was, predicting the sd and then doing a c/s -- you get the picture). Those lawsuits increase their premiums and lead to the ever present practice of lawsuit based medicine vs. evidence based medicine. It also leads to a number of good drs. either leaving the practice of delivering babies or to them ceasing to treat "high-risk" patients (i.e., those with pre-e, GD, or VBACs).
Anyway ... my point in posting this is that the paper noted that another huge rate hike is predicted for next year and based on a survey of OBs, it appears that HALF of all OBs in NJ may leave the practice of delivering babies or will cease to treat high risk patients, which of course, includes VBACs. And VBACs have also been on the decline in NJ b/c of the whole malpractice premium thing so I fully anticipate that a VBAC may be impossible for me in 2006 (when I anticipate having my next baby).
I'm so annoyed. I realize this is all just speculation, but NJ is already a state where it is: (1) difficult to find DEMWs and/or CNM who attend HBs; (2) if you can find such a MW she isn't allowed by law to attend any HBs that might be even remotely risky (so no HBAC); (3) there are few MWs attending hospital births and they are severely limited in the patients they're allowed to attend; and (4) most OBs are scared to death of getting sued so they're refusing to attend high risk births, VBACs among them, or if they do, there are substantial restrictions placed on the laboring mother.
So what am I supposed to do? Move? Consent to a r/c/s just b/c I probably won't be allowed to have a VBAC b/c of some stupid malpractice carrier's policies (basically, the malpractice ins. carriers raise the premiums so prohibitively high that no dr. can afford to pay for the extra coverage that would required to actually attend the higher risk births).
Sorry for the vent. Just had to blow off some steam.