"Doctor, doctor, my body hurts wherever I touch it!” A young brunette exclaims. “Show me,” says the physician. The girl proceeds to poke multiple areas of her body and scream every time she does so. “Hmm,” the doctor remarks, “I think I ought to send you off to a specialist.” Wait a minute, that’s not how the joke goes, is it? Isn’t he supposed to say she’s a blonde with a broken finger? Well, in the future, the joke just might go like that. Lately, Americans and their physicians have been at odds. Citizens are focused on getting the treatment they deserve, while physicians are doing their best to provide it. Unfortunately, many people feel as though they have been shorted or neglected. The result? Medical malpractice litigations one after …show more content…
As Sherman Joyce explains, the average cost of defending a physician in court is $87,720. And that’s without the plaintiff winning any damages awards. It follows that, as the number of claims increase, as they have since the 1960s, then the cost of insurance premiums increases as well (“Medical Malpractice”). In 2002, according to Kenneth Jost, there was an observable hike in insurance premiums over the year. For physicians practicing internal medicine, general medicine, and obstetrics-gynecology, insurance premiums increased thirty percent (Jost, Kenneth). These increased premiums, in turn, have hurt practicing physicians. Increased insurance rates in an area typically indicate a high probability of being sued. The prospect of being taken to court, in many cases, frightens doctors away from the area (Jost, Kenneth). As Hilde L. Nelson writes, doctors perceive their risk of being sued for neglect as being thirty times greater than it actually is. Similarly, they see the risk of being groundlessly sued as being one to three times greater than the actual likelihood (Nelson, Hilde L.). Consequently, forty-five percent of hospitals have lost physicians, and most have reduced coverage in emergency departments as well (Joyce, …show more content…
One article points out that in order to compensate for higher premiums, physicians have to increase their fees. And not only that, but health insurance premiums for everyday citizens are on the rise as well (“Medical Malpractice”). The combination of more expensive fees and premiums and a decreasing availability of physicians has made healthcare more difficult to attain in today’s society. Rather than cultivating the health care system, medical malpractice litigation has managed to impede it. Rooted in the intentions of weeding out dangerous practitioners, the blooms of the litigations created a toxic environment for physicians. The causes behind medical malpractice are justified, but the application needs work. Lawsuits inadvertently raise physicians’ liability insurance premiums, which financially and emotionally stresses them, who in turn leave an area and its residents. The effects of the lawsuits are felt by both doctors and patients. This is not to say that many physicians do not flourish in the healthcare system — they do. Hopefully, the effects of medical malpractice lawsuits can transform the toxic environment into one that facilitates growth and prosperity for
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In the healthcare industry, medical malpractice has a history that extends way beyond the days of physicians carrying a black bag full of medication and remedies to treat patients. Health care has since evolved to digital technology that can detect and treat disease. However, before physicians had advanced machinery making medical diagnosis, doctors had their textbooks and medical judgment to rely on for treatment. Physicians are human and medical mistakes can happen, but should not happen due to negligence. With that said, medical malpractice lawsuits are not the latest trend in the United States. According to the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, medical malpractice lawsuits first appeared in the United States beginning in the 1800s. However, before the 1960s, legal claims for medical malpractice were rare, and had little impact on the practice of medicine. Since the 1960s the frequency of medical malpractice claims has increased; and today, lawsuits filed by aggrieved patients alleging malpractice by a physician are relatively common in the United States.
There is a widespread assumption that only physicians can be found guilty of medical malpractice. However, nurses are now required to have malpractice insurance, as well. The Cambridge Dictionary defines malpractice as “the failure of a doctor or other professional to do his or her job with a reasonable degree of skill, esp. when that person’s actions or failure to act causes injury or loss” (n.d., def. 1). There are some lawsuit-happy people in today’s society that seek lofty payments for malpractice claims, on the other hand, a vast amount of malpractice lawsuits are justifiable.
Rising health care costs have caused a national crisis, and all agree we must embrace reform. President Obama has initiated his national health care plan in the hopes of decreasing some of the inflated costs. When attempting to resolve this issue, one must always address the root of the problem. A large portion of these inflationary costs stem from malpractice lawsuits, and so begins the debate for tort reform: legislation which would cut the costs of health care by reducing the risk of civil litigation and exposure to fraudulent claims (“What”). However, the real factor at hand and the real cause of the industry’s high costs does not come solely from the cost incurred from these lawsuits, but from over-expenditures on the part of doctors, who over-test and over-analyze so as to safeguard themselves from the threat of malpractice lawsuits. Thus, large public support exists for tort reform. While the proposed legislation enacted through tort reform could cut the costs of health care and positively transform the industry, it is ultimately unconstitutional and could not withstand judicial scrutiny.
Before tort reform was passed in Texas, many doctors were being sued for medical malpractice and there was definite evidence of lawsuit abuse. According to The Heritage Foundation, doctors had become easy targets for medical malpractice lawsuits because there is no point in pursuing a lawsuit against someone who does not have the money. Doctors have the money and the insurance to potentially be able to satisfy a judgment. Over time, the amount of medical malpractice lawsuits have risen, which in turn has lead to medical malpractice insurance rates rising. With the cost of the insurance rising, many doctors retired early, left the business, or moved to new states. This in turn affected healthcare costs and other aspects for patients.
New York is in the grip of a litigation explosion that is clogging their courts and slowing their economy. According to the “Tort Reformer” over 84,000 new lawsuits are brought every year...that’s the equivalent of more than 300 suits being filed on every business day. When a deranged tort system destroys an industry – driving people out of jobs, panicking customers – and does so based on junk science admitted to the courtrooms by injudicious judges – there really is the possibility of making sure it doesn’t happen again.
Most people don't pay attention to malpractice until it's too late and it's happening to them and it's unbearable.The average annual number of suits filed each year is about 85,000, with the actual number of medical injuries estimated to be about one million per year. The amount of malpractice cases is rising and is continuing to rise and that's not good for the economy or for the civilians. “More than 250,000 people die each year in the United States because of medical errors.”( Manning) The issue is that malpractice is happening to often now and needs to come to a decline. I am a witness to this and so are both sides of my family with different
The laws make it easier for physicians to offer apologies for medical mistakes. Healthcare providers are protected by these laws where their statements of apology are excluded from malpractice trials. However, physicians who do not work in the surgery unit feel that the apology laws expands their chances of facing a lawsuit. Additionally, the law increases the amount of money that is used to solve a dispute. From this perspective, McMichael, Van Horn, & Viscusi (2016) conducted research to assess the impact of state apology laws on the risk of medical malpractice litigation. The researchers employed distinct dataset obtained from a big national malpractice insurer. The investigation concentrated on lawsuits made against physicians for eight years, that is, from 2004 to 2011. Both claims and malpractice cases formed the foundation of the investigation. The outcome of the study indicates that the apology law is not effective because it does not influence the chances of a physician to face a claim. As a matter of fact, the law is said to increase the likelihood of a physician, who is not rated for surgery, to encounter a lawsuit by 1.2% points. This is interpreted as a 46% increase as compared to the national average. Besides, there is no evidence that apology cuts the average payment paid to a claimant by a physician (McMichael et al.,
“The real costs of medical malpractice have little to do with litigation but the lost lives, extra medical expenses, time out of work, and pain and suffering of tens of thousands of people every year” (Baker 1). The effects of malpractice in the health care field are a major issue in today’s society. Working on a more profitable and safe way to ensure the prevention of malpractice is what should be worked on to promote a safe and comfortable environment for the people. There are many errors that malpractice portrays in the healthcare field such handling medical situations: informed consent, foreign objects, and operating on the wrong body part. Also with these mistakes come major lawsuits against the healthcare system and liability on the doctors become crueler. Many of the doctors are leaving and that remain practice in fear and silence. Making sure that the healthcare professionals are fit to do the job is what needs to be accomplished in order to have a structure and effective healthcare system.
Some studies have shown in recent years that the high cost of health care is due to the high cost of defensive medicine . “Defensive medicine” is a term best described as a way to treat a patient without the burden or worry of possible litigation should something go wrong during treatment. According to a recent survey by Jackson Healthcare and Gallup, defensive medicine costs in 2009 were between $650 - $850 billion annually. Which is also roughly 26% – 34% of the average health care cost in the United States? Also according to this survey, many physicians actually practiced more “rule out” type medicine as opposed to diagnostic treatments, due to the fear of litigation. 76% of physician’s survey stated that defensive medicine decreases a patient’s access to health care.
Physicians work under a system where a fifteen minute time frame should be enough, key word is should; the reality is not as pretty as the hypothetical situation where a 15 minute time frame is enough. A Physicians system of work can also be extremely corrupt, a system in which a doctor can choose to promote any product for the right price. Reports show that in late 2009 and early 2010 pharmaceutical companies paid physicians more than 100,000 dollars to promote their products. There is no denying that medicine can have the true potential to help when it’s being given to patients for the benefit of the patient.
As indicated by McLaughlin and McLaughlin (2008), governments must respond to the concerns of healthcare providers having a conflict of interest as it relates to patients and for others. In the 1990s, the United States saw the emergence of many physician-owned hospitals specializing in certain high-dollar procedures such as cardiac care and orthopedics. They had many reasons for their development. First of all, physicians sought to funnel the private insured patients to facilities in which they had a financial stake. Additionally, they were able to pick and choose patients who might have a better outcome. Moreover, the doctor had more control over the patient's care and length of stay in a facility in which he had ownership. This created problems
When a doctor or other medical professional makes a mistake, a patient may choose to bring a lawsuit for malpractice against the doctor. Reaching back to the beginning of organized civilization, this is far from a new concept. However, the area of medical malpractice law has changed drastically in the United States over the last few decades. Many have raised concern that the possibility of increased malpractice lawsuits has risen even higher with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act of 20120 (PPACA). New legislation and technologies make medical malpractice law a constantly-transforming field. In order to understand the current state of medical malpractice law in America, it is important to look at the cases and legislation at the
Physicians play many roles in society – ranging from family doctors to political activists. However, the primary objective of a healer and/or physician is to provide quality care that serves the patient’s best interests. As our life expectancy grows higher, physicians play an ever more important role in society for our public well-being. In this class, we have already read numerous articles that chronicle the challenges and controversies that are associated with this difficult job. Unfortunately, the readings have generally discouraged me from pursuing a career in the medical field.