Archives: November 2013

November 2013 Newsletter

Protect Patients Now Volume 8, Issue 11 November 2013 Newsletter E-Newsletter Special points of interest: HCLA Defends Liability Reform in Health Affairs Letter Detroit News: ER Doctors Need Reform, Relief PPN is Thankful for Efforts to Protect Patient Care Lack of Medical Liability Reform in Affordable Care Act Having Unintended Consequences HCLA Defends Liability Reform in Health Affairs Letter The HCLA welcomed the focus by Health Affairs on the need for medical liability reform, but responded to the authors in a letter published this month and defended the effectiveness of reforms at the state level. In the initial study, written by notable medical liability reform researchers Emily R. Carrier, James D. Reschovsky, David A. Katz and Michelle M. Mello, the authors state, “results suggest that prior cost estimates based on comparisons between states with and without caps on damages or high malpractice risk, malpractice premiums, or claims costs (including comparisons of variations in states over time) may not reflect physicians behavior or fully capture the influence of physicians, malpractice concerns on defensive medicine.” HCLA Chairs Katie Orrico and Mike Stinson responded, stating that “Emily Carrier and coauthors provide evidence that physicians’ increased medical liability risk leads to more aggressive practice of defensive…

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Offer ER Doctors Needed Relief

Legislation would provide emergency physicians with helpful, and fair, tort reform Emergency room doctors shouldn’t have to fear lawsuits when simply doing their jobs. A bill in the Michigan House would bring some reasonable control to medical malpractice lawsuits brought against physicians in emergency situations. The liability limits in the legislation would improve patient care and help retain and even attract doctors to Michigan. Currently, the state is losing physicians, according to experts. Antonio Bonfiglio, M.D., with offices in Warren and Fraser, says the bill relieves some of the liability physicians may face in medical emergencies. “The bill doesn’t apply to elective surgeries or gross negligence,” explains the past president of the Michigan College of Emergency Physicians. “This isn’t a get out of jail free card (absolving doctors of all liability). This applies when patients are in emergency situations and when additional physician care is needed.” The threat of a lawsuit often hangs over physicians. But liability concerns in emergency situations have some doctors, particularly specialists, hesitant to even be on call. The federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, passed in 1986, requires hospitals treat every person brought into their emergency rooms. But sometimes, as Diane Bollman, executive director…

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