Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Who has the highest malpractice premiums?

Which specialties face the highest malpractice premiums? Premiums are a function of the expected cost to insure a physician against potential malpractice suits. Thus, premiums are higher for specialties that have a higher risk of having a claim filed against them or specialties where the average payout conditional on having a claim is higher. A […]

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What are the odds that your malpractice claim makes it to court?

Americans are a litigious culture.  The high number of medical malpractice cases causes both political parties to call for reform.  The malpractice claims that make it to court, however, are not many as you may think.   According to the Wilson Quarterly: A surprising number of cases “simply disappear, as plaintiffs abandon them,” writes Dwight Golann studied […]

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Malpractice Insurance Caps

Many people support malpractice insurance caps.  They believe that malpractice insurance award caps will reduce medical costs in two ways: i) by decreasing malpractice premiums and ii) by decreasing the amount of defensive medicine physicians practice to avoid lawsuits.  An article by Shirley Svorny, however, argues that malpractice awards are bad medicine.  Physicians who are […]

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Does Health Reform Change the Malpractice System

Health Reform (a.k.a. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act [PPACA]) provides two small provisions that will affect malpractice costs.  Randall Bobvjerg explains: “As enacted, PPACA contained only two, quite limited malpractice provisions.  Section 10607 authorized malpractice demonstrations by states, and section 10608 extended federal malpractice protections to free clinics’ nonmedical personnel. The demonstration authority comes […]

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Malpractice in China

In the U.S., physicians often fear that if a patient experiences a bad health outcome, the physician will be liable for millions of dollars as part of a malpractice suit.  Although the malpractice system in the U.S. may be far from perfect, most physicians would certainly prefer it over the more informal forms of “malpractice” […]

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Best Practice Insurance

Problems: Malpractice Insurance is expensive. Medical errors are associated with 98,000 deaths every year [more than twice the deaths from car accidents by some estimates.] About two-thirds of the guidelines developed by AHPR between 1990 and 1996 were out of date with current research by 2001. Solutions: One solution is to enact damage caps.  These […]

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Scottish NHS pay £23 million in compensation, but U.S isn’t doing any better.

The Scotland Sun reports that the Scottish NHS paid £23 million ($40 million) to patients for subpar care. Is this due to the inherently substandard quality of care in a single-payer system? The answer is likely no. This figure only amounts to about £4.50 ($7.34) for every person in Scotland however. Drug-related errors in the […]

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Are juries too stupid to judge technical drug safety cases?

Yes,  Dr. Peter Schuck (Professor, Yale Law School): “…juries in different states make different decisions on the same drug–hardly a recipe for the uniformity and predictability to which manufacturers should be entitled. A jury’s flaws are inherent in its design. In contrast, the FDA’s flaws–and they are many–can at least be remedied by Congress, to […]

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