Louisiana Medical Malpractice Act for Healthcare Providers

In response to the medical malpractice insurance crisis1970’s, the state of Louisiana introduced a comprehensive law on medical malpractice in 1975. This law separated medical malpractice claims into two different groups: claims against private healthcare providers, and claims against public or state healthcare providers. The Louisiana Medical Malpractice Act (LMMA) governs claims against the private providers while the Malpractice Liability for State Services Act (MLSSA) governs claims made against state-employed healthcare providers.

Damage Caps: Both the LMMA and MLSSA Acts afford the same protections to each group of healthcare providers by way of caps on damages, statute of limitations, medical review panels, etc. The current cap on damages is $500,000 (inclusive of non-economic damages as well as lost wages), plus past and future medical costs. This cap is the same now as it was when enacted in 1975. Only to “qualified healthcare providers” is the cap applied; Louisiana statute maintains a broad definition of “healthcare provider” as it includes virtually any licensed practitioner providing patient care within the state of Louisiana. However, to be deemed “qualified” one must pay the applicable annual surcharge into the Louisiana Patient Compensation Fund (PCF). Participation in the Louisiana Patient Compensation Fund is not required by state statute; however, if a healthcare provider does not participate by paying the surcharge then they will not receive the benefits of the LMMA.

Louisiana Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations: Patients have one year from the date of discovery or one year from when the alleged negligent act should have been discovered to request formation of a Medical Review Panel. In no event can a claim be made more than three years from the date of incident. Wrongful death claims must be brought within one year from the date of death.

Medical Review Panel: All claims must be reviewed by a Medical Review Panel made up of three physicians in the same specialty as the defendant physician. The panel is moderated by a non-voting attorney which is chosen by the three physicians on the panel. One of the three physicians is chosen by the defendant, the second is chosen by the plaintiff, and the third panel physician is chosen by the two previous appointees. It is only after a decision is made by the Medical Review Panel that a lawsuit may be filed. Regardless of the Panel’s decision, the plaintiff has 90 days to file suit against the defendant physician.

Louisiana Medical Malpractice Insurance & the Louisiana Patient Compensation Fund (PCF)

Louisiana is one of only a few states in the country that has a patient compensation fund. Patient compensation funds are pools of money established by the state and filled by doctors’ annual surcharge payments to provide additional monetary support to pay claims in excess of primary insurance limits. Although state healthcare providers are automatically covered, private healthcare providers must pay the annual surcharge in addition to their primary insurance premium in order to be deemed “qualified”. Due to the $500,000 cap on damages for claims made against qualified healthcare providers most physicians carry $100,000 per claim and $300,000 annual aggregate on their private primary insurance layer over which the Patient Compensation Fund will pay an additional $400,000 up to the cap plus the past and future medical expenses of injured patients.

Major Carriers

Louisiana Medical Malpractice Insurance Rates By Specialty (Top 15)

Rates depend greatly on specialty. Physicians offering high-risk care, such as surgeons, have higher rates than doctors in lower-risk areas. Prices will vary, though, based on your claim history and location in addition to your specialty. Always talk to an insurance expert to get a more specific quote for your malpractice insurance.

Below are undiscounted state filed rate data averages across all territories for $100K / $300K limits

SpecialtyAverage RateMin RateMax RateCount
Family Practice No Surgery$7,043$5,004$12,5581286
Internal Medicine No Surgery$7,700$5,452$12,5581279
Pediatrics No Surgery$6,425$4,313$12,558760
Emergency Medicine$16,686$11,920$27,627732
Occupational Medicine$4,271$3,108$6,279669
Obstetrics and Gynecology Major Surgery$30,391$20,512$62,788538
Radiology - Diagnostic$8,056$4,313$15,697443
Cardiovascular Disease Minor Surgery$10,647$6,023$17,581407
General Surgery$24,884$16,742$37,673401
Orthopedic Surgery No Spine$22,192$15,569$31,898309
Ophthalmology No Surgery$4,532$3,108$10,046296
Gastroenterology No Surgery$6,495$3,108$12,748214
Pathology No Surgery$6,076$4,313$10,046187
* Please note that the above rates are state filed rates. It is not uncommon for Gallagher Healthcare clients to receive up to 50% or more in discounts from state filed rates. Please Request a Quote to receive a custom premium indication.

Rate Range by Specialty

This chart compares the range of possible state filed medical malpractice premium rates by admitted markets and a few Gallagher Select markets broken out by the top 15 specialties in Louisiana.

Louisiana Medical Malpractice Rate Range Chart

USA Ranking Map

The map below provides a visual display of the nation and compares what a typical primary care physician might pay compared to each individual state and county. This research is based on the average rate for a single specialty, the most common limits in that state, and the mature claims made premium. The darker the blue, the higher the average premium, see how Louisiana compares to other states.

Malpractice Rate Heat Map - United States