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Tort Reform Does Not Eliminate Defensive Medicine Practices, Study Finds

According to a recent online poll by Jackson Healthcare, 64 percent of Texas physicians report that tort reform has not decreased their defensive medicine practices.

Alpharetta, GA (Vocus) March 2, 2010 -- According to a recent online poll by Jackson Healthcare, 64 percent of Texas physicians report that tort reform has not decreased their defensive medicine practices.

Texas enacted tort reform measures in 2003. Jackson’s poll found that Texas physicians practice less defensive medicine than the nation’s average (80 percent in Texas vs. 92 percent in the U.S.); however, the numbers suggest that tort reform is not a silver bullet for eliminating defensive medicine costs.

According to Jackson Healthcare chairman and chief executive officer, Richard Jackson, while tort reforms, or damage caps, help reduce “malpractice costs,” they are not a comprehensive solution to skyrocketing costs that result from defensive medicine.

“Twenty-five to thirty-four percent of healthcare dollars is being wasted on tests and treatments patients don’t need or want,” said Jackson. “Why? Because physicians are personally financially liable for mistakes and omissions. One mistake can cost physicians their career, reputation and livelihood.”

Recent Jackson Healthcare polls found that defensive medicine constitutes between 26-34 percent of healthcare costs. Jackson believes tort reform addresses only the tip of a very large iceberg of spending. “As long as physicians are held personally financially liable for mistakes, no measures will eliminate the $650-850 billion of the $2.5 trillion in annual healthcare spending,” reported Jackson.

“The country is incurring these excessive healthcare costs with no patient benefit. Why not create a radical change to the system that significantly reduces costs and provides increased amounts for patient compensation?” said Jackson. Jackson is calling for a comprehensive solution that contains three elements: eliminating personal financial liability for physicians’ unintended errors, creating independent medical review boards to review claims and judge negligence, and establishing separate boards to award compensation to wrongfully injured patients.

“We need a balanced, common sense approach that guarantees patients their rights without undermining their care,” said Jackson.

Jackson’s solution can be found in his organization’s online media room at Jackson Healthcare Research.

For more information contact Bob Schlotman at 770-643-5697 at Jackson Healthcare.

About Jackson Healthcare:
Founded by the healthcare innovator Richard Jackson, Jackson Healthcare serves more than two million patients in nearly one thousand hospitals each year. The Jackson family of companies provides physician and clinician staffing, anesthesia management, hospital management and healthcare information technology solutions proven to improve clinical and financial outcomes, as well as increase operational efficiency. Jackson Healthcare has earned national media coverage for its physician polls and champions local and international charitable work. In addition, Jackson has been recognized as one of the largest and fastest growing staffing companies in the country by the Inc. Magazine, Atlanta Business Chronicle, Georgia Trend and Staffing Industry Analysts. For more information about Jackson and its companies, visit Jackson Healthcare. Jackson’s research reports are available at Jackson Healthcare Research.


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Source: PRWeb
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