michaelend's comment history

michaelend said...

You are misreading the article "Malpractice Risk According to Physician Specialty", N ENGL J MED 365;7. The article does not discuss "lawsuits." It discusses "claims." A claim can be as simple as a patient writing a letter to the doctor asking for compensation for medical espenses or lost wages resulting from an adverse event. Simply because that patient is not compensated does not mean that a lawsuit that took time and money to defend was filed. The more significant finding was that 1.6% of doctors have a payment made on their behalf each year because of malpractice. That number is actually higher than what it is today, since the article discussed a study that took place for the years 1991 through 2005, when more payments were being made than in recent years. According to the National Practitioner Data Bank, the federal repository for all payments made by malpractice insurers because of doctor negligence, the nationwide number of payments for the past ten years are as follows: 2001 - 15,659; 2002 - 14,391; 2003 - 14,220; 2004 - 13,523; 2005 - 13,081; 2006 - 11,759; 2007 - 11,478; 2008 - 11,022; 2009 - 10,739; 2010 - 9,894. Do you notice a trend? The number of payments has gone down every year for the past ten years. The number of payments in 2010 was 37% lower than the payments made in 2001. Compare the low number of payments shown above with the number of people who die or are injured each year as a result of medical negligence. In an April 2011 article, "The Social Cost of Adverse Medical Events, And What We Can Do About It", Health Affairs 30, No. 4; 590-595, it was reported that as many as 187,000 deaths in hospitals each year and 6.1 million injuries may be caused by medical mistakes. Compare the number of payments to the number of deaths and injuries and you can see why the authors of another article in the New England Journal of Medicine wrote: "Frivolous litigation is in the bull's-eye of the current tort-reform efforts of state and federal legislators. The need to constrain the number and costs of frivolous lawsuits is touted as one of the primary justifications for such popular reforms as limits on attorneys' fees, caps on damages, panels for screening claims, and expert precertification requirements. Our findings suggest that moves to curb frivolous litigation, if successful, will have a relatively limited effect on the case-load and costs of litigation. The vast majority of resources go toward resolving and paying claims that involve errors. A higher-value target for reform than discouraging claims that do not belong in the system would be streamlining the processing of claims that do belong."

September 8, 2011 at 10:31 p.m.
michaelend said...

Leaf, this legislation will not save you one penny after its enactment. It may result in an increase in the profits of the medical malpractice insurance companies, but it will not result in anything positive. The impact of the law will only be felt by the handful of people each year who suffer the most devastating injuries. Those unfortunate people will now be unable to recover fair compensation for the harm caused by negligent health care providers. This law is nothing to cheer about. Just pray that you are not one of those people who will be seriously injured by medical negligence.

May 21, 2011 at 12:16 p.m.

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