Insurance

Malpractice Suits are Raising the Price of Healthcare and Lowering the Quality

Doctors make mistakes

There is a reason it is called “Practicing Medicine”

Depending on the specialty of a doctor, they can spend up to 27% of their careers with open malpractice cases pending. This stress, and the amount of money needed to defend against these claims is staggering. The majority of claims are unfounded and no payout is ever rewarded to the plaintiff. The fact remains however that the Doctors need to spend their time and money in an effort to keep their name clear. Often times the stress of these pending malpractice cases can cause poor work performance, and may cause the physician to second guess themselves more often than they should. By profession it is understood that a physician is practicing medicine.

Of all medical mistakes that happen less than 5% are ever pursued in a malpractice case. In addition the cost of medical malpractice insurance is constantly going up. Therefore the cost for the doctors to operate is increasing. Meanwhile, Obamacare and other government sanctions are resulting in the doctors getting paid less per patient. This in turn drives the doctor to see more patients in order to maintain the same standard of living. Author Thomas Sharon covers this in his book “With Liberty and Coverage for All

All of these factors combine for fertile ground for the stressed out doctors to have even less time to prepare for surgeries, or to properly prepare for their patients procedures, checklists are skipped, and ultimately lead to mistakes. Some mistakes can be as small as a nurse forgetting to wash her hands before inserting an IV. The chances are nothing will happen. If something does happen, say a mystery infection manifests itself shortly after the hospitalization; it is unlikely the cause will be traced back to that one nurse that didn’t wash her hands that one time. In all likelihood the patient suffers as the result of the carelessness of a medical professional tasked with our well being.

There are thousands of seemingly insignificant events that can cause grave results. Doctors are trained in a way as to minimize these results, it is however still called medical practice for a reason. In this case practice will never make perfect.

As patients it would do well for us to realize that doctors are only human. As a society we would be better served to accept the things that happen as a result of medical professionals caring for our loved ones and ourselves. This does not me we should dismiss claims in which retribution is called for. EX: Cutting off the wrong leg. Clearly something has to be done here.

The change is in the mindset of basically going for it all. I understand that the legal jargon “For Pain and Suffering” has some merit to it. I also believe there needs to be some cap on that amount. In our “sue happy” culture we will jump at the opportunity to sue if it presents itself to us. Embrace the person you want to be, not the person your lawyer wants you to be.


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