Saturday, November 6, 2004

Summary of Medical Liability Ballot Initiatives

Human Events Online: Medical Liability

""Voters in four states--Oregon, Florida, Nevada, and Wyoming--considered ballot initiatives to reform the broken medical liability systems in their states. In Oregon, Ballot Measure 35, which would have amended the constitution to establish a $500,000 cap on non-economic damages in medical liability cases, lost by 50.53% to 49.47%. In Florida, Ballot Measure 3 to amend the state constitution and limit contingency fees attorneys receive in medical liability cases passed 63.5% to 36.5%. In Nevada, Ballot Measure 3, which would amend Nevada's existing medical liability reform law by deleting exceptions to the $350,000 cap on noneconomic damages in medical liability cases, passed by 58.72% to 40.14%. In Wyoming, Amendment D, which would amend to the Constitution to allow the state legislature to enact caps on noneconomic damages, failed by a 2-to-1 margin.""

Wednesday, November 3, 2004

Ballot measure results

Ballot measure results:

""...voters gave doctors and the business community some major victories in yesterday's ballot measures. Limits on malpractice lawyers' fees passed resoundingly in Florida, in a stinging rebuke to the trial bar. Among three other states considering med-mal ballot measures, doctors won decisively in Nevada and lost in Wyoming, while Oregon's measure was slightly trailing but too close to call..""

[Via Overlawyered]

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Wyoming med-mal study

Wyoming med-mal study:

""The Milliman actuarial firm projects what will happen if Wyoming enacts a cap on non-economic damages. According to Martin Grace's summary [pdf], the study's simulation model "suggests that the cap [at a level of $250,000] will reduce losses and loss adjustmen expenses by about 15%""

[Via PointOfLaw Forum]

Monday, October 25, 2004

New site: Legal Reform Now

New site: Legal Reform Now

"", a new website on legal reform, was launched today. The site is managed by the Institute for Legal Reform (ILR), an arm of the United States Chamber of Commerce committed to tort reform at the state and federal level. is intended as a "clearinghouse for legal reform information on the Web sponsored by a diverse coalition of associations, chambers of commerce, think tanks and state-based legal reform groups."""

[Via PointOfLaw Forum]

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Heal the Law, Then Health Care

I'm reading more about Expert Medical Courts. Although my initial reaction is to avoid the creation of a new expert medical court beurocracy, I'm beginning to see the necessity of it.

Heal the Law, Then Health Care
Troyen A. Brennan and Philip K. Howard
The Washington Post, January 25, 2004

""What's missing from the current debate is any discussion of how the legal system should work in health care. Law is not some sort of sacred mandate but a tool to serve the common good. Asking how law can best serve health care leads to an unavoidable conclusion: A system of justice must be created that makes deliberate judgments -- reliable for patients and providers alike -- with improved patient care as the primary goal.""

Friday, October 22, 2004

Medical Economics - Malpractice: Who should judge the experts?

Medical Economics - Malpractice: Who should judge the experts?:

" "Doctors who serve as expert witnesses for malpractice plaintiffs are finding themselves threatened by their state and specialty societies." "


" "...last May, the Federation of State Medical Boards adopted a resolution defining "false, fraudulent or deceptive" expert witness testimony by a physician as "unprofessional conduct." "

Thursday, October 21, 2004

The John Edwards Fan Club

" "Why, I asked, should we carry a $100,000 medical school debt, stay in school for 8 to 12 years, work long hours during and after residency, and fight the bloated bureaucracy of the health care system, when we can get rich quickly by following John Edwards? So here is what I proposed. We physicians should take turns suing one another..." "

[Via Point Of Law Forum]

Common Good: Expert Medical Courts: An Idea Whose Time has Come

Common Good: Expert Medical Courts: An Idea Whose Time has Come:

""A recent editorial by Dr. Charles Lockwood, Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Yale University School of Medicine, endorses Common Good's proposal to create special health courts and calls on doctors to "rally behind [the proposal] by joining and supporting Common Good."

Lockwood lists six key benefits that a health court would produce, including "consistent judgments on standards of care by court appointed experts; accountability for negligent and reckless providers; and powerful incentives for quality improvement in medical systems." "

Here's my litmus test for this one. Let's ask John Edwards if he thinks it's a good idea. If no, I'm for it. If yes, I'm against it

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Access to Physicians Figures Prominently In Complaints

Annals of Family Medicine: Patient Reports of Preventable Problems and Harms in Primary Health Care:

" "Conclusion: The errors reported by interviewed patients suggest that breakdowns in access to and relationships with clinicians may be more prominent medical errors than are technical errors in diagnosis and treatment. Patients were more likely to report being harmed psychologically and emotionally, suggesting that the current preoccupation of the patient safety movement with adverse drug events and surgical mishaps could overlook other patient priorities." "

[Via Science Blog - Science News Stories]

Medical Economics - How I pick the doctors I'll sue

Medical Economics - How I pick the doctors I'll sue:

" "Many complaints filed against physicians are based on their miscommunication with patients, nurses, or other doctors. But even well-intentioned efforts to improve doctors' communication skills run into opposition from the medical profession. For instance, the National Board of Medical Examiners has introduced a one-day exam designed to test doctors' ability to communicate with patients, as well as their clinical skills. Unfortunately, the American Medical Association has opposed the test, and vows to block its implementation." "

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Pennsylvania Medical Society | Medical Society Project Helps Stop Frivolous Lawsuits

Pennsylvania Medical Society | Medical Society Project Helps Stop Frivolous Lawsuits:

""In May of 2004, the first case was settled by the Society’s project against frivolous lawsuits, resulting in an apology from the offending attorney and an agreement to make an undisclosed monetary payment.

The countersuit was brought by Dr. Charles Dunton, a gynecological oncologist from Delaware County against Diane Rice, Esq., of Bucks County. Ms. Rice had filed a medical malpractice action on behalf of her client against Dr. Dunton, in which she accused him of providing inadequate care. That action was eventually resolved in Dr. Dunton’s favor when the Ms. Rice was unable to produce an expert to support her allegations.

In her apology Ms. Rice admitted she did not obtain an opinion from a qualified medical expert prior to filing the suit." "

Saturday, October 2, 2004

Pennsylvania malpractice roundup

Pennsylvania malpractice roundup:

""The IssuesPA/Pew Poll has found that a remarkable 26 percent of Pennsylvanians polled "said rising malpractice insurance costs have forced their family to change doctors in the past year", and that state residents polled also favored a constitutional cap on pain and suffering damages by a margin of 68 percent to 24 percent...""

[Via Overlawyered]

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