Mo. doctors move to Kansas for lower malpractice costs

Thursday, September 18, 2008 | 9:47 a.m. CDT; updated 11:27 a.m. CDT, Thursday, September 18, 2008

GALENA, Kan. — A Missouri physicians' group plans to build a new medical office building in Galena, Kan., citing lower malpractice insurance costs across the state line.

Dr. Christopher Banwart, a member of Orthopedic Specialists of the Four States in Joplin, said Kansas' malpractice insurance rates are 50 percent lower than Missouri's. Assistant Kansas insurance commissioner Bob Tomlinson confirmed that figure.

Tomlinson said there are fewer malpractice lawsuits in Kansas and the state's cap on awards is $100,000 lower than Missouri's. He said before Missouri lowered its cap on malpractice awards to $350,000, there was a mass exodus of doctors from Missouri to Kansas in the Kansas City area.

Galena Mayor Dale Oglesby said Wednesday the development may be the biggest thing to happen in town since its mining heyday.



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