AT LEAST ONE SECTOR OF THE ECONOMY IS THRIVING

Here’s an except from the ACC Cardiovascular News Digest:

Modern Healthcare (8/4, Robeznieks, subscription required) reports, “There are about 95 medical liability claims filed for every 100 physicians — or almost one per doctor — and nearly 61% of physicians age 55 and older have been sued, according to a report (pdf) released by the American Medical Association and based on a survey of 5,825 ‘non-federal patient care physicians’ conducted in 2007 and 2008.” The report, which contained survey results from “doctors practicing across 42 specialties, found that 42.2% of the respondents had a claim filed against them at some point, with more than 20% of physicians sued at least twice.”

I’ve been trying to be “fair and balanced,” in the words of a simultaneously maligned and revered cable news network that shall remained unnamed, and have attributed only a part of distorted physician’s practice patterns to the need for tort reform. Nevertheless, I found these figures to be appalling. I’m told by one of my neurosurgical colleagues (who assures me frequent suits in his specialty are exceedingly common) that reimbursement for legal expenses for lost lawsuits to compensate the unjustly accused and reduce frivolous suits this is the norm in some countries.

It hasn’t been, and never will be, my intent to deny the aggrieved their day in court for care below accepted standards, but might it not be time to consider a similar approach here?

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One Response to “AT LEAST ONE SECTOR OF THE ECONOMY IS THRIVING”

  1. Mark Baird Says:

    In Europe you are starting to see loser pays insurance. A practicing attorney purchases this insurance when they practice law.

    Of those 61% what percentage should have been sued? How much defensive medicine actually is a benefit and in who’s eyes is it defensive medicine?

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