Why Malpractice Reform is Important


I may be one of the few Democrats that supports malpractice reforms. But, in my view, malpractice reforms are as urgent as national health insurance. A poorly conceived malpractice system has resulted in astronomical verdicts–and those verdicts have been followed by astronomical malpractice insurance premiums.

An Oregon study found that a lack of adequate reimbursement and a fear of malpractice claims keeps many surgeons from agreeing to be put on-call.

“According to the report, the main factor in the reluctance of specialists to remain on call is “lack of adequate reimbursement,” highlighting the growing gulf between what they consider adequate and the hospitals consider affordable. Other issues include dealing with too many uninsured patients, being called out too often in the middle of the night and having to cope with potential malpractice claims.”

The key point of the issue is that what is acceptable compensation for surgeons dramatically increases because of high malpractice insurance costs. The game of lawsuit bingo that is played by too many patients and lawyers raises the cost of healthcare for everyone.

Ultimately, this increased cost causes fewer Americans to be insured, and reduces access to medical care. One would be foolish to disregard malpractice reform. It is a very important element in creating a sustainable, affordable, and universally accessible healthcare system.
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