Fun Facts to Know and Tell Update

More fun facts about medical malpractice, this time from a recent Weekly Standard editorial:

Studies of the effects of [defensive] medicine put its price tag at a minimum of $100 billion a year and probably more than $200 billion . . .

Because doctors pay more for malpractice insurance, patients pay more too: nearly $2,000 a year in extra health expenses for an average family . . .

Tort reform works. Texas is a good example. In 2003, the state enacted caps on noneconomic damages (so-called pain and suffering) and added a requirement that lawsuits be approved by a panel of medical experts. Over the next four years, premiums fell 21 percent, the drift of doctors out of the state was halted, and 7,000 new doctors set up practices . . .

Hmmmm. Makes a fellow think.

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2 Responses to Fun Facts to Know and Tell Update

  1. joe says:

    More fun facts:

    “Lawsuit caps haven’t been a game-changer. Healthcare spending has grown faster in Texas than the rest of the country. Patients are paying more for health insurance and medical bills. Doctors do more tests and scans, an indication that so-called defensive medicine hasn’t declined here.” — Fort Worth Star Telegram, Sept. 12.

    http://www.star-telegram.com/business/story/1607549.html

    “Texas virtually leads the nation in the percentage of residents without health insurance.” — AP, Sept. 20

    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/tx/6628276.html

    “About 1 percent of the nation’s $2.5 trillion health tab is directly attributable to the malpractice system” — Washington Post, Sept. 17

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/17/AR2009091704676.html?hpid=topnews

  2. Credit must be given to the insurance industry and Chamber of Commerce as their message about a runaway trial bar being to blame for spiraling health care costs has taken hold (of course, scads of people believe President Obama has a Kenya zip code too).

    Despite fewer large payouts to med mal plaintiffs and fewer claims against physicians, the insurance industry still manages to sock health care professionals with skyrocketing premiums. I’ve represented a number of plaintiffs in medical negligence cases in MA where the defendants prevail 90 percent of the time, so I’ve had a bird’s eye view of this. Also, a recent study in the news showed how miniscule of a financial impact on the nation’s health care costs medical malpractice cases and so-called “unnecessary” tests have.

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