Archives: March 2014

March 2014 Newsletter

Protect Patients Now Volume 9, Issue 3 March 2014 Newsletter E-Newsletter Special points of interest: Medical Liability Reform Saves Lives, Saves Costs Leading in Liability Payouts Leaves Patients Behind HCLA Sets Vision for 2014 in Annual Meeting Medical Liability Reform Saves Lives, Saves Costs Coming together on bipartisan medical liability reform legislation are Congressmen Andy Barr (R-KY) and Ami Bera (D-CA), who earlier this month introduced H.R. 4106, the Saving Lives, Saving Costs Act. The Congressmen claim the bill will lower health care costs and improve patient care by reducing medical lawsuit abuse and using evidence-based guidelines developed by doctors. The unlikely allies are not only on different sides of the aisle, but come from what has traditionally been separate sides of the issue – as Bera is a physician and Barr is an attorney. The Saving Lives, Saving Costs Act will offer physicians who document adherence to certain evidence-based clinical-practice guidelines a safe harbor from medical liability litigation. “The bipartisan Saving Lives, Saving Costs Act is a practical way to bring down the skyrocketing cost of health care, and to make the system work better for patients that people from both parties can get behind,” said Bera in a press release….

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New York is the Clear Leader in Medical Malpractice Awards

Medical malpractice lawsuits paid out more in New York last year than in any other state — and by a huge margin. Awards in malpractice lawsuits paid out roughly $690 million in New York last year, nearly twice that of second-ranked Pennsylvania, which saw $357 million in payouts, according to government data compiled by Jeremy Gower of Diederich Healthcare, a medical malpractice insurer. New York is also the clear leader on per capita payouts, averaging $39 per resident with Pennsylvania trailing at $25 per resident. Malpractice lawsuits have long prompted controversy among policymakers. Some argue they drive up insurance rates and make it difficult to be a physician while others say they’re necessary to protect consumers. This past Thursday, the Florida Supreme Court said the state legislature manufactured an “alleged medical malpractice crisis” and threw out limits on payouts in some wrongful death lawsuits, according to the Miami Herald. And lawyers and industry groups are collecting signatures to get a measure to increase the cap on the ballot in California. Caps on malpractice awards have been overturned in at least nine other states, according to year-old data from PIAA, an insurance industry trade association. And only 15 states lack caps…

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