With millions of newly insured patients expected to fill up thewaiting rooms of doctors' offices as healthcare reform isimplemented, medical malpractice insurers may have reason forconcern about the law's impact on liability trends.

The catalyst for increased utilization is the controversialmandate included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act(PPACA)—better known as “Obamacare”—requiring all individuals tohave health insurance starting in 2014, or pay a penalty via theirfederal income tax form. Subsidies will be made available to helpthose with affordability issues, and Medicaid is being expanded inmost states as well.

In my blog of Oct. 2, I examined the possible spillover effectof the law on workers' compensation, due to concerns about possibledelays in delivery of medical care. But there are potentiallygame-changing implications for professional liability carriers aswell, both positive and negative.

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