Term Paper: Medical Malpractice Reform

Pages: 5 (1452 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Healthcare  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] " (Ottenwess and Ottenwess, 2011, p. 2) It is additionally held that "losses for emotional distress and pain and suffering are intangible and exceedingly difficult to assign a dollar value." (Ottenwess and Ottenwess, 2011, p.3) Presently more than 30 U.S. states are reported to have placed caps on noneconomic damages when it comes to medical malpractice lawsuits. Stated as the typical state cap on damages is that in the range of $250,000 to $500,000. In addition, the tort law concept of joint and several liability have both "undergone significant tort reforms in the context of medical malpractice claims." (Ottenwess and Ottenwess, 2011, p. 3)

It is reported that joint and several liability had in the traditional sense enabled the plaintiff who has received some type of injury by two or more individuals at fault to make recovery of the total amount of damages suffered from any one of the defendants involved However, those argue for tort reform posit that "joint and several liability is an inequitable concept because one defendant, generally, arbitrary and unpredictable and, as such, complicate the settlement process." (Ottenwess and Ottenwess, 2011, p. 4)

III. False Claims Concerning Costs

Reported as one of the most frequent stated criticism of the tort system in medical malpractice is "that the defense of medical malpractice actions needlessly increases the cost of healthcare in the United States." (Ottenwess and Ottenwess, 2011, p.4) However, the research shows that "cost surrounding medical malpractice litigation is a small fraction of overall healthcare spending in the United States." (Ottenwess and Ottenwess, 2011, p.5) It is reported that the total cost of providing defense for medical malpractice claims and providing victims compensation for medical malpractice in 2007 was approximately $7.1 billion which equals 0.3% of the annual healthcare costs for that year." (Ottenwess and Ottenwess, 2011, p.5) It is reported that the institution of tort reform will not ever, no matter how successful completely rid the system of malpractice litigation. Therefore the health care institution and its providers should focus on providing quality care and risk reduction through the establishment of a "comprehensive risk management and compliance program to improve the safety and quality of care that it should provide. An ongoing assessment of the quality of the management processes should be component of any health care provider or institution.

Burkle (2011) states "If the current tort-based medical malpractice system is effective in meeting its assigned goals, it should be providing adequate legal assistance to patients who have been injured by negligent care. As it stands, the contemporary tort-based system appears to fall well short in this capacity." (p. 1) In another report stated is

"Stephan Christiansen, managing director at Conning, shared his investment management company's data that forecasts weakening profitability for medical professional liability insurance companies -- with combined ratios exceeding 100% by 2016. He also noted the stresses the healthcare delivery system will experience as more patients are added and that accountable care organizations will spread exposure among many new players. Christiansen recommended an increased focus on risk management and paying close attention to developing claims frequency and severity patterns." (The Medical Liability Monitor, 2014, p. 1)

Summary and Conclusion

This report has conclusively demonstrated that medical error in treatment is a real problem and a problem that has been downplayed by advocates for medical malpractice tort reform. There is a serious need for reform of the medical system however, this is not so much related to tort reform as reform needed to bring about a reduction in medical errors and the impacts on the lives of patients and their families in terms of both economic and distress and pain related effects resulting from medical malpractice and medical errors. This makes a requirement of a better system of quality assurance with ongoing monitoring and assessment geared toward the reduction of medical errors and medical malpractice.

Bibliography

2014 PLUS-Medical PL-Symposium Focuses on Emerging Risks Associated with Affordable Care Act, Clinical Integration, New Technology (2014) The Medical Malpractice Monitor. 5 May 2014. Retrieved from: http://medicalliabilitymonitor.com/news/

Burkle, CM (2011) Medical Malpractice: Can We Rescue a Decaying System? Mayo Clinic Proceeding Apr 2011 86(4): 326-332. Retrieved from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3068892/

Medical Negligence: The Role of America's Civil Justice System in Protecting Patients' Rights (2011) American Association for Justice. Feb 2011. Retrieved from: http://www.justice.org/resources/Medical_Negligence_Primer.pdf

Ottenwess, DM and Ottenwess, SP (2011) Medical Malpractice Tort Reform. Retrieved… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Medical Malpractice Reform.  (2014, May 27).  Retrieved July 17, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/medical-malpractice-reform/1279538

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https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/medical-malpractice-reform/1279538.