The Medical Malpractice Myths

Discussion in 'Healthcare/Insurance/Govt Healthcare' started by Gadawg73, Nov 25, 2010.

  1. Gadawg73
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    Gadawg73 Gold Member

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    1. Medical Malpractice is what drives up health care costs.
    Wellpoint, Inc. a large health insurer disputes that and states that liability awards are not what is driving up premiums. They state there is no evidence to claim that anywhere.
    2. Medical malpractce awards are a large % of the cost of health care as juries award large sums of $.
    Only one medical malpractice case was amongst the top 40 tort verdicts in 2008. Less than 2% of all health care dollars are spent on these malpractice awards and fights amounting to less than $12 a yar per American. Less than 1 in 10 malpractice cases is won at trial. Doctors are very difficult to get verdicts on.
    3. Malpractice fright causes defensive medicine to be done.
    There is not one study anywhere to support this. In fact, defensive medicine is about 20 billion per year. Defensive medicine IS NOT the same as wasteful medicine and defensive medicine is not caused by malpractice fright. Doctors are more careful with patient records, take extra time with patients, do additional tests that are needed to prevent future illneses and spot illnesses that were unknown. Makes for a healthier society.

    In the list of the top 15 things that one could do to lower health care costs medical malpractice awards and claims is not on that list.

    The proponents of tort reform throw the baby out with the bath water. Although damage award caps may slow the growth of liability premiums-about 5-13% annually over time-it is oversold as a solution by the special interest billion dollar insurance lobby and it unfair to the patient, the customer and the one getting maimed by the malpractice.
     
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  2. uscitizen
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    uscitizen Senior Member

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    Some malparctice suits are well deserved.
    While I lived in FL a diabetic had to have a leg amputated, they cut off the wrong one so he wound up losing both legs.
    Do we want to deprive this person of legal redress to save you $12?
    How much are your legs worth to you?

    then there are multiple cases where sponges and surgical tools are left inside a patient, etc...
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2010
  3. Big Black Dog
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    Big Black Dog Gold Member Supporting Member

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    I agree with uscitizen. Seems like everybody bitching about malpractice law suits haven't had a medical misadventure. Walk a mile in the victims shoes and then rethink your position.
     
  4. westwall
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    westwall USMB Mod Staff Member Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    I can say this. A good friend of mine, a surgeon, has never had a claim against him of any sort. His malpractice insurance is 350,000 per year alone. You have to see a hell of a lot of patients to make that little number up. Add to that all the other costs of running a practice and it becomes quite clear why many are no longer following a medical career.
    One other thing to consider, most malpractice occurs in the hospital. The AMA has calculated that 100,000 people die every year due to some form of malpractice so it is a serious problem, however at some point you have to ask yourself, if the Dr. was negligent why is he still in medicine? At some point there has to be an effort made to get rid of the bad ones (including sending some of them to jail) instead of repeatedly going back to the trough as the vast majority of lawyers will do.
     
  5. peach174
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    peach174 Gold Member Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    The same is for my Family practice Dr. She had to hold off for 3 yrs. on a new cumiden reading instrument because of this. The cost of malpractice insurance has caused her not to be able to get the things that she needs for her office.My husband had exploratory surgery in Nov, and they had to do twice the amount for lab tests because of this. It would have cost 2,000.00 in tests, instead it cost 4,300.00 of unnecessary lab tests. Many Doctors was just testifying on the hill that it does harm their practice and that it causes the price to rise by unnecessary extra x-rays and tests.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011
  6. Mini 14
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    Mini 14 Senior Member

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    My father and brother are/were both surgeons. They have each been sued once, and won, so their insurance premiums were not affected.

    Their largest expense is easily malpractice insurance. Even larger than payroll (they have a staff of 11).
     
  7. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    Medical Malpractive complaining is a REPUBLICAN SMOKESCREEEN they fill the room with whenever anybody points out what a thoughly crappy health care DELIVERY SYSTEM we have.

    If we never EVER EVER had even one medical malpractice lawsit the cost of HC wouldn't drop significantly.
     
  8. Mini 14
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    Mini 14 Senior Member

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    And fish would ride bicycles.

    For surgeons and other specialized physicians, malpractice is easily their biggest expense.
     
  9. westwall
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    westwall USMB Mod Staff Member Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    That's certainly what the Trial Lawyers Association would have you believe.
     
  10. Bern80
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    Bern80 Gold Member

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    I don't see anyone here saying that someone shouldn't be able to sue if their doctor screws up. But to say that malpractice doesn't drive up costs is obviously false. Doctor's in every state have to have a malpractice insurance plan. Some states it's not horribly expensive, in others it's quite exhorbitant. The point is it's an expense docotor's incure and the cost of services are going to reflect that.
     

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