TOO MANY LAWSUITS AGAINST DOCTORS? OR TOO FEW?

  • TOO MANY LAWSUITS AGAINST DOCTORS? OR TOO FEW?

    April 18, 2017

    TOO MANY LAWSUITS AGAINST DOCTORS? OR TOO FEW?

    According to CNN, there are at least 251,454 deaths due to medical errors annually in the United States.
    Consumer Reports in their May issue indicate that about 650,000 patients acquire an infection while in the hospital every year, and 75,000 of them die, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Pharmacy errors kill at least one person a day, and injure 1.3 million people in the US every year.

    Despite this, the number of medical malpractice lawsuits filed in this country continue to go down. Despite this, medical malpractice insurance rates are not going down. And surely our medical bills are not going down. That’s largely because according to the American Medical Association, the entire legal medical aspect of practice constitutes about 1% of the expense of medical care. In other words, if all lawsuits were suddenly barred, your bill would go from $1,000 to $990. Not going to have a big celebration on that.

    So why is Congress trying to ban medical malpractice lawsuits in their reworking of the Affordable Care Act? It’s because they favor big business and particularly insurance companies over individuals. Across the country, where States have enacted caps on medical malpractice awards, the number of lawsuits goes down, but patient safety also goes down. Doctors seem to be less careful because they know they can’t be sued. Not all doctors, of course, but obviously, the bad ones. A report out of Pennsylvania a few years ago indicates that 5% of the Doctors are responsible for 50% of the malpractice lawsuits. But instead of getting rid of 5% of the doctors, the ones that just aren’t any good, they want to get rid of lawsuits.

    If this makes sense, then by all means vote your Congressman back in. But if this seems crazy to you, let your Congressman know you want the medical malpractice provision stricken from the reworking of the Affordable Care Act.

    Mr. Chase has practiced Personal Injury Law in Mercer County since 1979, and handles all types of Person Injury cases, including automobile accidents, slip and falls, motorcycle crashes, and medical malpractice cases. Initial consultation is always free.