Med Mal Update

ThePopTort wrote recently about the state of tort deform efforts in medical malpractice. Misinformed authors such as Steven Brill have said that “resistance to ‘sensible Tort reform'” is a major reason why we have such high health care costs. Interestingly, no one seems to be able to explain why they think stripping injured patients of their legal rights will solve this problem.

At the same time,  a virtual consensus has built in academia that not only does ‘tort reform’ not lower health care costs, it raises them.

Quoting A.M. Best,

The companies that specialize in medical professional liability (MPL) insurance achieved an overall underwriting profit for a ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to a new special report by A.M. Best. The Best’s Special Report, titled, “Medical Professional Liability Segment Produces Ninth Straight Year of Underwriting Profit,” also finds that 2014 represented another year since 2003 of positive net income and the 11th year out of the last 12 of positive surplus growth (the outlier being 2008 due to the financial market collapse).

There is also a major missing piece from these analysis- the cost of caring for medical errors in our medical system is far greater than all the liability costs combined. Focusing on common sense communication and preventing medical errors will save money- and more importantly, lives.

Seeing as the insurance industry is apparently flush with cash, there is no real reason to strip injured patients of their rights. It’s time to start putting people before profits.

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