Alternative Med Mal Solutions in Trouble

Side Note: In the ever changing world of med mal, liability insurance and med mal reform, today we report on a possible setback at the national level. The $50 million med mal alternative program, entwined with President Obama’s health reform law, seems to be stalling. While the health reform law authorized HHS to make the grants, the appropriations must be approved by Congress. As you’d guess, the issue is mostly split along party lines, with Republicans doubting that Democrats are serious about med mal reform.

It would have been a nice addition to the already underway $25 million federal program begun in 2009 that explores med mal alternatives at the state level. Specifically, the projects, awarded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, use evidence-based, patient safety projects to reduce medical liability. One of the grants, located at 10 Chicago-area hospitals, is attempting to reduce errors while increasing transparency and the taking of responsibility for such errors. We look forward to seeing the results of the grant, which uses the “seven pillars” approach, along with the results of the six other grants.

In a system that is clearly broken, still more needs to be done –and it needs to be done on the federal level. We’ll keep waiting.

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Medical liability reform demo may be in limbo
By Doug Trapp
From amednews.com
Posted July 25, 2011

Serious PhysicianWashington — The future of a national health system reform law program to explore alternatives to the medical liability system is up in the air.

Efforts to advance medical liability reform at the state level continue through a similar $25 million federal grant program begun in 2009, but the potential is high for a legislative stalemate between the divided Congress and President Obama on the additional $50 million program authorized by the health system overhaul.

Original article.