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Some quick facts regarding medical malpractice issues.


This report is from the Institute of Medicine, a member of the National Academies  ( National Academy of Science, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council)

“Medication errors are among the most common medical errors, harming at least 1.5 million people every year, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.  The extra medical costs of treating drug-related injuries occurring in hospitals alone conservatively amount to $3.5 billion a year, and this estimate does not take into account lost wages and  productivity or additional health care costs, the report says.”

Could it be the return on investments that drives med mal premiums?

“Insurance premiums and claims for doctors both have dropped significantly in recent years, while the medical malpractice insurance industry is enjoying "remarkable profits" in light of the global economic collapse, a study released by Americans for Insurance Reform finds. The report concludes that further limiting the liability of negligent doctors and unsafe hospitals is not only unjustified, but also would have almost no impact lowering this country’s overall health care expenditures.”

It seems doctors just do not want to be responsible citizens like the rest of us. People want teachers of our public education system to be accountable but not doctors. Maybe the difference is the cost to each of us. Maybe it comes down to money. Holding teachers accountable will not cost each of us but holding doctors accountable will cost each of us money.

“But it’s not all sweetness and light down on the border. An 11-hour hearing in the Texas Legislature last fall featured “angry, frustrated doctors from Houston to Laredo” venting about ” overzealous oversight” by the Texas Medical Board, the regulatory body that got beefed up to safeguard Texans from bad docs when the malpractice curbs were enacted, the Houston Chronicle reported. Complaints to the board have increased dramatically, and disciplinary actions against docs has nearly tripled since 2001. ”

Or maybe they are not getting the doctors they want.

“Want to know what else has gone up? Patient complaints and actions against doctors by the Texas Medical Board.”

Texas”Tort Reform” a Disaster for Citizens

In 1995 then Governor Bush had tort reform passed. Part of the deal forced the insurance industry to not raise premiums for five years. In 2001 the insurance industry raised their premiums over 120%. So in 2001 doctors screamed again and guess what, tort reform again.

“Obviously, tort reform alone is not the answer,” she says, “because it does not address the root cause of malpractice lawsuits: the continuation of unnecessary medical errors.”

“After reviewing thousands of patient records, medical researchers have estimated that only 2 to 3 percent of cases of medical negligence lead to a malpractice claim.

Even if we eliminated medmal suits entirely, the cost savings would be pretty modest.  Genuine reform, on the other hand, would likely cost us money.  That’s why you never hear much about it.”

John F. Kennedy had this to say.

For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.

So have we become a nation that is afraid of its people? The Supreme Court and the Republican party believes this to be the case as is evidence by the Reigel v. Medtronic ruling and the Republican lack of co-sponsorship of the Medical Device Act of 2009.

Do we substitute government tyranny with corporate tyranny? It appears that we have both. A politically controlled and influenced FDA and corporate immunity.

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