Tort Reform and Medical Malpractice

Back in September, the Congressional Budget Office raised its estimate of how much money the feds would save if tort law were changed to reduce liability for doctors and hospitals.

Just last week a relative of mine was hospitalized…overnight. They do not live near me so I could not “manage” their care locally. The number of tests ordered for a relatively innocuous event was mind boggling. I called each of the specialists and discussed the case with each in detail. The story was the same… and I’m paraphrasing here: ” Well, you and I know this is nothing… but in this (medical-legal) environment you know we have to do these tests”. As expected (before tests were ordered) everything was normal and my relative went home… and the US taxpayer was hit for at least $3,000 in *unnecessary* tests. Now repeat this over and over and over….. I really don’t care what *the pundits* say…. defensive medicine costs *US* A LOT of money, and some form of tort reform might significantly decrease the cost of healthcare.


About hjluks

A busy Academic Orthopedic Surgeon, Digital Strategist, Chief Medical Officer and father... intently and efficiently navigating the intersection of Social Media and Health Care.
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One Response to Tort Reform and Medical Malpractice

  1. sushilbansal says:

    Dr. Luks,Solution is to design processes which promote direct patient+physician contacts and eliminate the ‘middle men’ of lawyers. Of course, the concierge medicine is taking hold in some states but more physicians and patients will have to take charge. I for one would like to see the following:a. More physicians start ‘concierge service’ in each stateb. Let physicians and other interested parties start ‘not-for-profit’ insurance groups (similar to credit unions) which sell policies to pay for catastrophic illnesses and higher charges not covered in a. abovec. I strongly believe, most of the physicians do their best to treat the patient and most of the malpractice suits are filed because of patient ignorance/anger/greed. If at all, there are some ‘real’ cases of ‘physician negligence’ then a professional team of physicians, a jury of patients can come to amicable solution with a reasonable dollar figure cap.d. To reduce the costs further, let the insurance groups identified in b. above, give incentives to patients who agree not to file charges against the ‘group physicians’.Maybe this is just my dreams because too much money is at stake so why will the lawyers and politicians lay their hands off the ‘golden goose’! But, in the interest of sanity for both, patients and doctors, thinking outside the box is urgently required because the current ways can’t continue.Thanks for the contributions, you and other health care providers make to society!Sushil

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