Thursday, February 24, 2011

Study: Many Medical Errors Caused by Doctors Not Listening to Patients

Modern Healthcare notes: "Great effort goes into stopping preventable errors such as wrong-site surgeries, but authors of a study on unwanted variation in elective procedures say that many more errors are taking place because physicians are not listening to their patients."

Monday, February 7, 2011

Lawyers Worried that Diminishing Trials Are a "Dying Art"

The Tennessean reported an increasing trend away from settling disputes with a jury trial is raising concern among Tennessee attorneys about the decline of trial law. Darrell Townsend said "The paradox is you want to be able to train young lawyers, and having them try cases is the best way. ... At the same time, you are obligated to serve the best interests of your client, and oftentimes their interests are best served by not going to trial." Veteran attorney John Branham said, "I think the concern is it's kind of a dying art," noting that avoiding trials saves time for plaintiffs and money for "risk-averse businesses."

Friday, February 4, 2011

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Healthcare Tort Reform Claims Exaggerated

A Daily Kos blog argued against healthcare tort reform proposals, noting medical malpractice's less than 1.5% of healthcare costs "hardly makes tort reform worthy of the attention it receives for cutting health care costs. Furthermore, tort reform has already been implemented in more than half of the states in some form," so many states would feel no impact from additional reforms. The blog cited Texas' growing healthcare costs and lead status in the number of uninsured citizens, even after implementing tort reforms in 2003. Also, tort reforms wouldn't necessarily reduce defensive medicine practices, as litigation risks will always exist, and "evidence suggests that the profit motive" from defensive medicine "would continue to drive defensive medicine practices."

Fear of Litigation Makes Some Hospitals Wary of Video Cameras in Delivery Rooms

The New York Times reported that some hospitals are reconsidering policies to allow video cameras in delivery rooms "as they seek to balance safety and legal protection against the desire by some new mothers to document all aspects of their lives, including the entire birth process." While data tracking such policies is unavailable, Mike Matray of the Medical Liability Monitor said the matter "had been moving up on hospital agendas."