Monday, July 13, 2009

NY Times Op-Eds Look at Malpractice Reform

In an op-ed in the New York Times (7/12), Tom Baker of the University of Pennsylvania Law School wrote, "Our medical liability system needs reform. But anyone who thinks that limiting liability would reduce healthcare costs is fooling himself. Preventable medical injuries, not patient compensation, are what ring up extra costs for additional treatment. ... Just as we need evidence-based medicine, we also need evidence-based medical liability reform."

In another Times op-ed, Harvard professors Amitabh Chandra and Michelle Mello wrote, "Doctors tend to believe capping damages on malpractice awards would solve their troubles. But the best evidence shows that although caps modestly constrain the growth of insurance premiums, they don't reduce the number of claims or address any of the fundamental pathologies of the system. ..."

These are messages that need to be heard. Arbitrary, "one-size-fits-all" caps on damages are completely unfair to the grievously injured.

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