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Malpractice_08 - Medical Malpractice PAM 435 Todays...

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Medical Malpractice PAM 435 April 17, 2008
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Today’s Objectives Are we experiencing a medical malpractice crisis? What are the objectives of the malpractice system? How well is the system meeting those objectives? Are there policy changes that could improve performance?
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“Are Soaring (Malpractice Premium) Rates Sending DC Doctors to the Suburbs?” Source: Fleury, Washingtonian , 2005. 69 140 94 141 65 143 65 94 56 85 72 115 General surgery OB/GYN Ortho Neuro DC MD VA Average Annual Malpractice Premium ($000), 2005
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3 Components of Malpractice Premiums 1) To cover patients’ economic costs: current and future medical expenses and lost wages 1) To cover patients’ “pain and suffering” costs 3) To cover an insurer’s administrative costs, including legal defense costs (e.g., lawyers’ fees) Most Stories Focus on Frivolous Lawsuits and Excessive “Pain and Suffering” Payouts Source: Feldstein, 2007.
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Source: Congressional Budget Office, 2004. Nationally, Malpractice Premiums Starting Increasing (Again) in 1999
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But It’s Important to Keep Perspective Source: Rodwin, Chang, and Clausen, 2006, Health Affairs .
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And malpractice premiums account for only about 1% of national health care spending in the United States
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Objectives of the Medical Malpractice System 1) Deter future negligence by providing incentives for MDs, hospitals, and other medical providers to consider their actions/behavior carefully 2) Compensate patients injured through negligent behavior 3) Exact corrective justice Source: Keeton et al., 1984.
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Deterrence of Malpractice System: 1984 New York Study Hospital patient injured due to medical care?
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