Malpractice Caps Do Not Work: New England Journal Of Medicine
Posted Scott B. Cooper on Aug 06, 2012 in Medical Malpractice
Do capping an innocent person's damages work? That is an argument made by many people in the Pennsylvania Legislature, especially many representatives and senators from Central Pennsylvania. A new peer reviewed study would cast doubt on there beliefs that capping damages are effective. In fact, the study concludes that they are dangerous and ineffective.
Here is an excerpt from the NEJM study:
"Strategies to control costs associated with medical malpractice and defensive medicine must be responsible and targeted. These strategies must not impose arbitrary caps on damages for patients who are injured as a result of malpractice. According to the Congressional Budget Office, arbitrary caps on damages would reduce national healthcare spending by only .5%. But while imposing caps would have a barely measurable effect on costs, they (caps on damages) may adversely affect patient health outcomes."
The article went on to strongly support a safe harbor system whereby doctors would be presumed not to have committed malpractice when they refuse to order certain overused and expensive tests. This is called wise choice. It would not immunize these doctors but it would shift the burden onto the plaintiff to show why the standard of care required the ordering of that expensive test in their case.
Finally the medical community sees caps as bad for healthcare delivery and bad for patients. Wise choice is a well thought out solution that controls costs without shifting the burden onto those negligently harmed. I for one support a safe harbor for physicians who refuse to order unnecessary and expensive tests.
Healthcare costs need to come down on the wings of common sense, not on the backs of the injured.
If you have an injury or a loved one is injured or killed in a Pennsylvania crash caused by a negligent doctor, hospital and/or nursing home, feel free to contact Central Pennsylvania based Schmidt Kramer Injury Lawyers who can answer any questions you may have about your rights after you or a loved one are the victim of injury or death caused by the negligence of another person or company.