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Round Up: Medical Malpractice Hypocrisy and Common Sense

2 comments

I and many other writers here at the Injuryboard have written about the myths of the malpractice debate. Recently, the issue has been House Bill 5, which is making its way through the United States Congress. It is worth looking at some of the issues out there:

- H.R. 5 author and usual spokesman Congressman Phil Gingrey from Georgia had his own lawsuit after a car accident. He apparently sees that as different than this bill that severely limit the rights of all consumers who suffer injuries which in any way involve a health care provider (doctors, nursing homes, hospitals et cetera). Looks like hypocrisy to me.

- HR 5 limits claims against nursing homes. Mickey Rooney tells congress why all consumers need this protection:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9ikKP5-s5A

- In North Carolina the local legislators were getting into the arguments for unconstitutional damage caps and using the usual arguments:

“Our citizens suffer in a lottery-like system that lets trial lawyers win big while doctors flee to states where they can practice without fear of unfair lawsuits,” said Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, in a statement.

I wonder where this haven for runaway doctors is? I also think there may be a little different definition of "citizens". I would say that bad doctors who do most of the malpractice are the ones who suffer. You should not want them in your state.

- The Washington Monthly published a great feature on patient safety and medical errors recently. Guess what? They found that fewer errors will mean fewer malpractice suits. Who could have thought of that? Is this a real solution? Ask these guys:

a team of Manhattan obstetricians says it has beaten the odds—dramatically reducing errors and slashing their department’s medical malpractice payouts by more than 99%.

“Any hospital could do it—it’s not about money, it’s about changing the culture to make it safer to deliver babies,” said Dr. Amos Grunebaum, who led his obstetrics team at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell in starting a comprehensive obstetrics safety program.

There are real solutions out there that protect people and lead to better care. But, it takes people who are really looking for them.

2 Comments

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  1. Robert Oshel says:
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    The solution to the malpractice problem is, as suggested in the post, reducing malpractice. In most states over the last 20 years only about 2 percent of physicians have been responsible for over half of the money paid out for malpractice. Usually these few physicians have multiple payments in their records but few of them have had any action to restrict or revoke their licenses or hospital privileges.

    Rather than making it harder for innocent victims to be compensated, which doesn’t reduce malpractice itself, why shouldn’t the medical boards and hospitals take action to do something about the few physicians who cause the bulk of the malpractice problem?

    All caps do is make it difficult in practical terms to bring a suit and thereby shift the real costs of malpractice from the few physicians who cause it to the innocent victims, their health insurers, and the taxpayers.

  2. Mike Bryant says:
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    Thanks for reading Robert and also leaving the comment that is all very true.