Medical Malpractice Paperr - Kitty Carey Business Writing...

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Kitty Carey Business Writing Report Due 10/17/07 To Cap or Not to Cap Insurance rates for medical malpractice liability are essential for any doctor who wants to practice medicine. So, why is something that is so critical nearly unaffordable for many doctors to the point of forcing them to give up their profession? Medical malpractice is something every doctor intentionally avoids, but due to the steep increase in premiums, doctors are practicing defensive medicine—ordering every test and covering every base to avoid a lawsuit. The financial awards that result in these suits are sometimes disproportionate to the malpractice, and the volume and frequency of such settlements jeopardize the stability of the health care system. Insurance rates for doctors and their practices have inflated, in part due to lack of limitations in these lawsuits. In result, some states have placed a cap, or a limit, on the amount of money that can be awarded in these non-economic suits. However, the opposing opinion always reveals itself when laws are implemented, and some believe that such a cap is unconstitutional because it eliminates the jury’s ability to fully determine the verdict and therefore infringes upon the constitutional right to a jury trial. Others also add that the amounts paid in these awards do not significantly affect the premiums, and that it is the medical errors that produce such high rates. Research seems manipulated into pointing both directions, so I tried to take a closer look at each angle. I believe it is important to reevaluate alternate avenues of lowering premiums because caps that exist in some states have not solved much of anything according to doctors’ own admissions, which proves that the root cause is elsewhere. Additionally, the rise in malpractice awards does not correlate strongly with the rise in insurance rates. To me, the cap is clearly an unnecessary course of action in attempting to alleviate the high insurance rates.
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Humans are not inherently perfect, and therefore for as long as there have been doctors, those doctors have made their share of mistakes. While some mistakes might not result in any harm to a patient, others may unfortunately cause their death. To protect the rights of patients, the legal system allows them to file malpractice lawsuits against their respective doctor. Consequently, doctors need malpractice liability insurance, which covers them, to a point, if such a lawsuit were filed against them. However, recently, the price of this insurance has increased 14%, threatening doctors’ ability to practice simply due to the unaffordable price of their obligatory insurance. Some doctors have had to give up their practice altogether because their costs were too overwhelming. In Texas in 2003, legislators seemed to have conquered the issue of losing qualified medical professionals due to high insurance rates by placing an award limit of $750,000 per case for medical malpractice lawsuits. (Blumenthal) With this new law, insurance
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This note was uploaded on 03/31/2008 for the course BUSINESS business w taught by Professor Burgess during the Fall '07 term at University of Iowa.

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Medical Malpractice Paperr - Kitty Carey Business Writing...

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