Navigation Links
Tort reform reduces lawsuit risk; establishes framework for quality improvements
Date:5/23/2011

It is well known that rising medical malpractice premiums have reached a crisis point in many areas of the United States, and the economic and emotional costs of these claims are driving physicians and surgeons away from high-risk specialties. However, according to the authors of a study published in the April issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, implementation of comprehensive tort reform has been associated with a nearly 80 percent decrease in the prevalence of surgical malpractice lawsuits at one academic medical center. This decrease in lawsuits also resulted in a significant decrease in malpractice-associated costs.

As a part of comprehensive tort reform in 2003, Texas Proposition 12 placed a $750,000 cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits, and limited an individual physician's liability to $250,000. Researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio conducted the study, which was based on data extracted from two hospital databases. They reviewed malpractice suit prevalence and associated costs, spanning an 18-year period from 1992-2010.

During this timeframe, surgeons performed 98,513 surgical procedures. Out of this cohort, surgical patients filed 28 lawsuits. The great majority of the suits (25) were filed between 1992-2003 (the pre-reform period). About half of these cases (13) were decided in favor of the plaintiff, and the remainder (12) in favor of the surgeon. The liability cost of the lawsuits was $5.56 million, and the legal fees were $1.6 million for a total litigation cost of $7.16 million. The annualized cost was almost $600,000 per year. Since 2004 (the post-reform period), three surgical-related lawsuits have been filed. The total legal cost for these cases was $3,345, or an annualized cost of about $500 per year.

The prevalence of surgical malpractice lawsuits significantly decreased following tort reform. During the pre-reform period, malpractice suit prevalence was 40/100,000 operations. After tort reform, it dropped to 8/100,000 for a relative reduction of almost 80 percent (risk reduction 0.21).

Tort reform legislation also significantly reduced legal costs and malpractice insurance premiums for individual surgeons. In 2002, malpractice insurance premiums were $10,000 per surgeon. By 2010, the premium had dropped to $2,700, and it is projected to be $2,000 per surgeon next year.

"Implementation of comprehensive tort reform in Texas was associated with almost a five-fold decrease in the risk of a malpractice lawsuits being filed," said the study's lead author, Ronald M. Stewart, MD, FACS, professor and chair of the surgery department at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. "Medical malpractice tort reform is beneficial for the surgeon and other health care practitioners because of the significant decrease in lawsuits; however, I believe it is also beneficial to patients because of its influence on improved access and quality of care, and decreased costs leading to overall reduced health care costs."


'/>"/>

Contact: Sally Garneski
pressinquiry@facs.org
312-202-5409
Weber Shandwick Worldwide
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. New report on health reform implementation: How to ensure access to coverage is maintained
2. Elsevier Health System Reform in Asia Conference
3. Health reform law will insure nearly all uninsured women by 2014
4. 2 new studies describe likely beneficiaries of health care reform in California
5. New study: Health reform to make health insurance affordable for nearly all families
6. Reformed Medicaid program must put coordinated care at forefront of efforts
7. Medicares Drug Coverage Gap to Shrink Away Under Health Care Reform
8. Healthcare Reform in China and the US: Forum examines similarities, differences and challenges
9. As Health Care Reform Turns 1, Backers and Detractors Dig In
10. Report indicates that new welfare reforms hark back to Victorians
11. US health care reforms should use model developed by Queens University professor
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... May 24, 2017 , ... Adelberg-Montalvan Pediatric Dentistry ... for its patients on Long Island, New York. , Holistic dentistry puts ... is one of the biggest trends in dentistry today. , Dentist Dr. ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... Chicago, IL (PRWEB) , ... May 24, 2017 ... ... of the most prominent for-profit and nonprofit hospitals and health systems in the ... have turned around their institutions, led professional organizations and been instrumental in developing ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... May 24, 2017 , ... Technique, technique, technique – with ... either lifting weights for strength training and exercise or simply lifting heavy objects, advises ... “Body position is everything,” Dr. Chang says. “Improper technique in lifting anything heavy or ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 23, 2017 , ... MDLand International ... company, announced today that its iClinic V12.2 solution has achieved approval from National ... recently introduced PCMH 2017 standards which emphasize team-based care with a significant focus ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 23, 2017 , ... Allegheny Health Network and ... Joy D’Achille Center for Women’s Behavioral Health at West Penn Hospital , a ... for women suffering from pregnancy-related depression. Construction of the Center is underway with ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/10/2017)... 10, 2017 Radiology has become the number ... have also spiraled to the number one ranking as ... than ever before as the most complete and reliable ... with lower back pain an MRI may confirm a ... pain, resulting in entirely different treatment protocols.  In these ...
(Date:5/9/2017)... , May 9, 2017  Semler Scientific, Inc. ... technology solutions to improve the clinical effectiveness and ... for the first quarter ended March 31, 2017. ... enable our customers to identify when preventive care ... before events like heart attacks or strokes occur," ...
(Date:5/6/2017)... 5, 2017  Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: HRC), has ... square feet to its Welch Allyn campus. ... to bring more than 100 new jobs to ... has maintained a significant presence for more than 100 ... positions, a large portion of which will be R&D ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: