The medical malpractice and tort system makes up one of the major legal issues encountered by hospitals and health systems. Showalter (2012) states that with the decline of charitable immunity in the 1970s, healthcare was one of the areas impacted by personal injury law and was held liable for negligent acts. Today, malpractice continues to be a significant problem. Malpractice lawsuits are considered when negligence in medical treatment provided by a physician, surgeon, other health professional, or hospital results in injury. Most states require physicians to have liability insurance and hospitals and other healthcare facilities to purchase their own insurance and policies in order to cover the medical staff. The number of malpractice claims continues to rise; Klein (2002) reports that obstetrics, diagnosis errors, surgery, and medicine are the areas of highest liability. In the year 2011, there were over 9,497 paid claims. With the total number of dollars paid in claims averaging over $3,177,305.00 (Kaiser Family Foundation, n.d.). Medical liability premiums have also increased. According to Page and Fields (2011), AMA reported that medical liability premiums in the United States between 1976 and 2009 experienced a 950 percent increase. Malpractice lawsuits are a major expenditure for health organizations, especially hospitals, hence the importance of developing strategies to reduce the prevalence of negligent acts.
In response, numerous reform measures have been taken, with each attempt at reform, Showalter (201...
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...g the public image of health care organizations in the process.
Klein, C. A. (2002). Surveying the malpractice terrain. Nurse Practitioner, 27(11), 62. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
Nelson, L. I., Morrisey, M. A., & Morrisey, D. J. (2011). Medical liability and health care reform. Health Matrix: Journal Of Law-Medicine, 21(2), 443-519. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
Page, L., & Fields,R.(2011).13 Legal issues for hospitals and health systems. Retrieved from http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hospital-management-administration/13-legal-issues-for-hospitals-and-health-systems.html
Showalter Stuart, J. (2012). The law of healthcare administration. (6th ed.). Chicago: Health Administration Press.
Kaiser Family Foundation. (2012). United States: Medical malpractice . Retrieved from http://www.statehealthfacts.org/profileind.jsp?cat=8&sub=102&rgn=1
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