Monday, February 24, 2020

Federal Medical Malpractice Reform Case Study Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 2000 words

Federal Medical Malpractice Reform - Case Study Example The American Medical association and several Congressional work groups including the Simpson-Bowles commission and the Domenici-Rivlin Debt Reduction Task Force have voiced strong opinion that reform in the sector lies at the heart of servicing federal deficit and securing justice for injured patients. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that in the next decade up to $ 62.4 billion will be spent on a defective medical malpractice system. In light of these facts and the majority public support for reform in the sector, the failure of the bipartisan malpractice reform bill at the senate that was slated to cap non-economic damages at $250, 000 and indeed countrywide failure to comprehensively enact reform legislation requires a return to the drawing board. Medical liability reform is at the heart of health care access. Key Concepts of Malpractice Reform The sky-rocketing premium costs incurred in covering doctors from malpractice suits much publicized court cases involving phy sicians has been argued to be behind the cut-backs in risky medical procedure that deprived ordinary Americans much needed medical services. This feature termed defensive medicine has ramifications that go beyond just the health department. In certain states physicians are planning to move to states where premiums are lower and insurers are exiting the industry. The problem is partly judicial as out-of-control jury awards have caused the unrestrained rise in costs, (Pozgar, 2011). Because of these hefty insurance costs that are passed on to patients, they drive inflation in the medical sector. Thus any health plan that is directed at liability reform should have measures aimed at stabilizing these rising costs. Of importance is the cap on non-economic damages which has the effect of stemming surges of indemnity losses by lowering the severity of claims and consequently premiums. Non-economic damages, sometimes termed hedonic damages, compensate harms that are hard to quantify. Every aspect of malpractice award can be quantified save for this and left to the discretion of the jury. The cap could be enhanced by allowing punitive damages. These have also been shown to have a significant impact on costs tied to the medical malpractice system (Kachalia & Mello, 2011). An offset for collateral payment could also lower the financial exposure of physicians and also the multiplicity of suits at which damages are collected. There have been recent developments that have impacted how much premium health care providers paid and the possible exposure risked. Among these are; physician exit of carriers in the market that offer affordable rates and over which physicians have some degree of control; growth of hospital self-insurance that creates a risk pool enabling more high-risk features; by affiliating with their institutions, hospitals that buy policies for their doctors stabilize insurance costs passed to doctors and finally the emergence of joint underwriting association s and patient compensation funds that cover losses exceeding the care provider’s policy limit. Other developments work to raise these costs. These are claim-made policies as opposed to occurrence policies that leave wide berth for a multiplicity of suits on which further damages are collected since they are filed once a year; increases in re-insurance costs are passed on to the doctors by their primary insurers. A dip in investment returns also

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