Few doctor-patient relationships are as important as an expectant mom and the physician who'll deliver her child.
"You wonder, is this person going to take care of me. Is this the right doctor for me. Will our personalities mesh?"
Fortunately, these weren't concerns for Holly Warren. She'd been seeing the same gynecologist for 15 years and was happy with the care he'd provided.
"He's that gynecologist you feel comfortable with that you go to for years and years. You trust him. You don't have to worry if this man is going to take good care of you and your baby."
That's why Holly was so disappointed to learn her doctor wouldn't deliver her baby. This is the same man who'd nurtured and coached every woman in her family through multiple pregnancies. And now, he'd given up obstetrics.
"We all had emotions from the beginning and to have to automatically go out and find another doctor when you already have someone you trust."
Holly was heartbroken and her worries didn't stop there. Shortly after learning she was pregnant, the hospital where Holly planned to deliver announced it would shut down its maternity ward September 1st, just six days before Holly's baby is due.
"It broke my heart. I really wanted to go to Greenview, and now I can't."
High malpractice insurance rates, particularly in high-risk specialties like obstetrics, is creating a crisis in some states. Kentucky is one of them. Climbing premiums are prompting many physicians to consider leaving the state, changing the nature of their practice, or retiring early.
That was the case for Holly's OB-GYN Dr. Mark Yurchisin who was paying close to $60,000 a year for medical liability insurance.
Dr. Yurchisin decided to get out of the baby business altogether.
"It was a hard decision. But one I think every doctor has to think about each year when the annual premium is quoted to them. You think, how much is this going to go up before I can't afford it?"
Luckily, Holly was able to find a new doctor and a new hospital. But, she says she plans on going back to Dr. Yurchisin as soon as her baby is born.
Wednesday night on WBKO at 6:00, we'll speak further with Holly's physician about why the decision to quit delivering babies was one of the hardest ones he's ever had to make.