Is Florida’s Medical Liability System Broken?
In 2013, nearly 19 million Floridians had paid upwards of $40 billion in defensive medicine costs so that 75 medical malpractice cases could go to a jury trial to compensate 18 injured patients. If that sounds shocking, then you are not alone. Below, as reported by The Palm Beach Post, we will examine some of the medical malpractice reasons that underlie this problem.
The escalating health care costs are being fueled by physicians’ need to practice “defensive medicine.” Defensive medicine means the ordering of medical tests, procedures and consultations of doubtful clinical or therapeutic value to protect against litigation.
Defensive medicine accounts for as much as 26 percent of overall healthcare spending, a phenomenal number considering that it is routinely a hidden cost.
This begs the question: instead of spending time ordering tests that may have questionable clinical value to protect against the threat of litigation, wouldn’t a physician’s time be better spent by simply improving the quality of healthcare?
Recently, attention has been given to a reform measure known as the Patient’s Compensation System (PCS).
PCS works to cut health care costs, while increasing access to health justice and compensation for patients who are medically injured.
PCS specifically allows physicians to admit their mistakes without fear of retribution and encourages shared best practices with other physicians to improve patient safety and outcomes.
Sadly, research shows that under the current system, many injured patients – especially the poor, minorities and elderly – have very limited access to justice. Nearly 90 percent of legitimate medical injuries are not fairly compensated.
Patients would also likely experience a decrease in physician mistakes, as doctors would be more likely to incorporate new breakthroughs and medical discoveries in treating their patients, which in turn could result in better patient outcomes.
Shapiro Law Group – Medical Malpractice Attorneys Serving the Tampa Bay Area