Health Reform and Tort Reform Go Hand-in-Hand

President Obama desperately wants passage of a healthcare reform policy. But to date, he has been unwilling to revise tort reform simultaneously. He has informed the AMA last July that he is not in favor of capping awards for pain and suffering so as not to penalize the patients who are “wronged” in society.

We can no longer afford such prevalent thinking. Premium increases have escalated to between 28% and over 50% in the last few years. This is passed on to the consumer of health care. Not only that, several of the major insurance companies writing policies for medical liability have become insolvent.

Studies analyzing the effects of tort reforms reveal that capping non-economic damages decreased insurer’s losses by up to 17% and that states with caps up to $350,000 saw premium rates increased by 20% as opposed to states without a cap going beyond 45% increase.

A radical solution would be the following:

*physicians found to incur a bad result would be made to go for further training before being allowed to continue practicing the same procedure

*injuries sustained by patients would be paid for government backed disability payments or social security payments

*Unfortunate results while tragic, are just that-unfortunate but the patient should not be rewarded for it. Rather than financial windfalls, the patient would receive grants in compensation in lieu of direct money payment that would finance further training and related items that he/she would need to improve the quality of life.

*No malpractice premiums

If a physician is found to detour from accepted medical practice, he/she would be censored from practicing and would be sent back for further training or barred from practice.

The financial relief that the medical community would experience from trying to find the money needed for malpractice insurance would be passed on to the community in lower health costs.

Instead of trying to come up with many creative ways to squeeze the medical community for health care cost reduction, let’s address the real issue and acknowledge the 800 pound gorilla in the room!

Reprinted by permission of copywriter Barbara Hales. For more discussions on health care reform, subscribe to The Medical Strategist newsletter at:

About Barbara Hales – Copywriter Barbara Hales is a specialist in the Medical and Health market that helps clients improves lead generation and sales. After working in the healthcare field as a physician for thirty years, she turned her focus to marketing and writing, where she gets measurable improvement on healthcare promotions.

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