A Plan to Handle Medical Malpractice Similar to Workers Comp

side note: This is a very interesting proposal by the James Madison Institute because they are addressing the cost of defensive medicine in an intellectually honest way. The report acknowledges that caps on non-economic damages are effective at lowering medical malpractice insurance rates, but not at lowering the instances of defensive medicine, which add to the overall cost of healthcare. The James Madison institute is a Florida-based public policy research institute dedicated to federalism and economic freedom.

According to the James Madison Institute, defensive medicine — the act of ordering unnecessary tests on the off-chance that a physician might be sued for medical negligence at a future date — can add billions to Florida’s healthcare costs. The report also states that far from promoting patient safety, the current tort system discourages accurate reporting  of medical errors; it also concedes that the court system is ineffective and slow.

Rather than handling medical negligence cases in the court system, the James Madison Institute recommends that Florida create a patient compensation system similar to the state’s workers compensation system. Under the patients’ compensation system, malpractice claims would be reviewed by a medical review board, and victims of medical malpractice would be awarded compensation by the board. A quality improvement council would analyze the causes of medical errors and establish standards for best practices that would work to end the practice of defensive medicine..

The James Madison Institute argues that this type of a patient compensation system would speed up litigation resolution, ensure injured patients are compensated and weed out frivolous lawsuits.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Nov. 16, 2011 — /PRNewswire/ — The James Madison Institute today released a study in partnership with Patients for Fair Compensation. Titled “Alternative Solutions to Florida’s Medical Malpractice System” the report details the negative impact on patient care due to the practice of defensive medicine. Citing case law and recent quantitative studies, the JMI report reveals a Florida tort system that is deeply flawed…

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