5 key notes on medical malpractice

Practice Management

According to a Kaiser Health News report, top Republicans see frivolous law suits contributing to the high cost of care because physicians are forced to pay high medical malpractice insurance premiums and practice defensive medicine. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, President-elect Donald Trump and Rep. Tom Price, MD, report "tort reform" is a key aspect of their ACA replacement plan.

Here are five key notes on medical malpractice, based on data cited in the KHN report:


1. The Doctors Company reports physicians are paying less for malpractice insurance today than in 2001, without inflation adjustments.


2. The number of claims dropped by half since 2003, according to The Doctors Company.


3. Around 3 percent of the $3.2 trillion in healthcare spending is related to malpractice cases and defensive medicine, totaling around $100 billion.


4. Thirty-plus states currently have caps on damages for malpractice suits.


5. One of the proposals for combating erroneous medical malpractice suits is establishing clinical practice guidelines; however, the KHN reported clinical guideline adoption would only affect around 15 percent of malpractice cases.


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