Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Vicious Cycle

Here's a new angle. That the specter of malpractice litigation actually causes harm to patients becuase mistakes go unreported due to fear:

"An administration study showed that about $28 billion is spent each year on the combination of malpractice litigation and the "defensive medicine" that doctors and hospitals perform, including extra tests and unnecessary procedures, to protect themselves against lawsuits.

Opponents point out that while this is a huge sum, it still represents only a sliver of the nation's $2 trillion annual health bill.

But a new study by the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) suggests there are other downsides to the current malpractice system. Among other things, the commission says, "the stifling specter of litigation results in the under-reporting of adverse events by physicians and avoidance of open communications with patients about error."

In a landmark 1999 study, the National Academy of Science's Institute of Medicine (IOM) reported that 44,000 to 98,000 Americans die every year because of preventable medical errors."


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for reporting facts but do you want to know why its down so much? you can no longer file a legitimate claim it has been made almost impossible- I am a 35 year old female that had a baby 2 years ago and cannot find a lawyer who will "get involved" as they express it because its too complicated- well the truth of the matter is there are 2 doctors who are the chief and director of the hospital who delivered me who are advocates against malpractice and are very politically connected. I was informed that I had 3 counts of negligence ust during my pregnancy alone. I am on my way to become crippled- I have sever neuropathy damage to my brain I did not take care of my daughter her first year I have diabetes remaining from the pregnancy, all of my female organs are adhered have had 2 surgeries need more but they cant do because they dont know if I would make it through major surgery, 2 hernias and many more problems and thanks to the new measures on malpractice law they will get away with it. Did I mention I was a very successful management consultant for a healthcare firm made good money and am now disabled