Tuesday, 25 of September of 2018

Medical Malpractice Accounts for Less than 3 Percent of Health Care Costs

In the midst of the most recent healthcare reform debate, some public officials talked about tort reform as essential to reducing healthcare costs. Some officials even proclaimed we could save hundreds of billions of dollars if we simply capped the amount of money victims can get in a lawsuit (i.e. what tort reform really means). Again, these proclamations are false.

By Jim Lewis, Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Virginia

When we talk about medical malpractice, there is usually someone who brings up the dire need for tort reform. They talk about “frivolous” lawsuits run amuck and how all those medical malpractice lawsuits are driving up healthcare costs.  Well, turns out those arguments are completely untrue.

A new study was released in the September 2010 issue of Health Affairs which showed that the cost of medical malpractice suits account for roughly 2.4 percent of all health care spending. You read that right – 2.4 percent.  

In the midst of the most recent healthcare reform debate, some public officials talked about tort reform as essential to reducing healthcare costs. Some officials even proclaimed we could save hundreds of billions of dollars if we simply capped the amount of money victims can get in a lawsuit (i.e. what tort reform really means). Again, these proclamations are false.

“Some of the numbers bandied about in policy discussions were quite imaginative and we wanted a more defensible estimate,” according to Michelle Mello, the author and professor of law and public health at the Harvard School of Public Health.

The study specifically stated capping damages for victims is unlikely to have an impact on overall health care spending and more emphasis should be placed on shifting from a fee-for-service system to a fee-for-quality system, according to healthaffairs.org.

So when your friend, neighbor, or relative starts railing against medical negligence lawsuits and touts tort reform, gently remind them that malpractice costs are microscopic in the grand scheme of healthcare spending in our country.

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a law firm which focuses on injury and accident law and our attorneys have experience handling medical malpractice cases, which includes hospital/doctor mistakes, and nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see for yourself. In addition, check out our FREE special reports on the Top 10 Tips from a Medical Malpractice Insider and the top 5 surgical errors you must know about. Our primary office in based in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA) and we also have a North Carolina (NC) law office.  Our lawyers hold licenses in NC, SC, WV, KY and DC. We are ready to talk to you by phone right now—we provide free initial confidential injury case consultations, so call us toll free at 1-800-752-0042. Our injury attorneys also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube . Furthermore, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard and Norfolk Injuryboard as a pro bono public information service. PA


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