The State of Defensive Medicine, Part VI: Is further Tort Reform Necessary?

In part six of our interview with Dr. Richard Anderson, Chairman and CEO of The Doctors Company, we discuss whether further tort reform is necessary, given that claims frequency is at an all-time low and the medical malpractice insurance industry is experiencing its longest soft market in history. Though this is true, with claims down by nearly 50 percent since 2004, Dr. Anderson contends that the current rate is still much too high, stating that “…the average neurosurgeon or other high-risk specialist will still spend about a quarter of his or her career in court defending an open malpractice claim.”

Dr. Anderson goes on to discuss the different scenarios for the United Sates healthcare system as it moves forward along the path of integration. One scenario could be that malpractice claims continue to decrease, as improvements in areas like patient safety, surgical techniques and medication administration take hold. Alternatively, however, further integration could cause disruptions, including errors in medical records, botched patient-handoffs and the rupture of the doctor-patient relationship, all of which could lead to an increase in medical malpractice claims. See below to watch Part VI. To view the full video, click here.


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