State Medical Malpractice Caps Under Fire

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , April 28, 2014

"So, if that case is lost, the attorney has to pay for it. As a result, since the caps have been in place, attorneys won't take the cases where somebody has been catastrophically injured because they know the risks are too high. That is why the filings are going down."

"You hear a great rallying cry about 'frivolous lawsuits.' You hear that all the time. But insurance companies and corporations are not afraid of frivolous lawsuits. They are afraid of legitimate lawsuits." Levin says.

It's an easy thing to say that somebody has a frivolous lawsuit, but the people who are affected by the cap on damages are not people who have frivolous losses. They are people with serious losses," Levin continues.

"Tort reform is always going to be one of those issues that is always on the agenda because of insurance companies. They would like to pay less money and if you can cap risk at $1 million as opposed to an unlimited amount, wouldn't you do that? I understand why they are trying to do it. I just disagree with it."

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1 comments on "State Medical Malpractice Caps Under Fire"

john winninger (4/28/2014 at 10:35 AM)
While malpractice caps have brought down insurance rates for physicians, what they don't do is change practice behavior. Physicians don't do less testing because they are not longer afraid of malpractice suits. The right has been selling this as the way to reduce healthcare costs, but in state after state with caps, we see no evidence at all of physicians changing behavior. Why? Because physicians do extra testing for so many more influential reasons: patients think more testing is better medicine, physicians learn that extra testing is standard of care, physician's get paid more if they own the machines that do the tests, etc etc etc.




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