Thursday, January 31, 2013

Select Tort Reform Summary State by State Since 1986

An article published on Need to Know on PBS on changes to the medical malpractice system, included a table that summarized selected tort reforms enacted since 1986 and which states have enacted them. The reforms that it included are:
  • Modify Joint-and-Several Liability
  • Modify the Collateral-Source Rule
  • Limit Noneconomic Damages
  • Limit Punitive Damages
Click here to read the article and view the table: Prescriptive policies for medical malpractice.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Massachusetts Medical Mistakes: Sorry Seems to Be The Hardest Word

The Boston Globe Magazine yesterday ran an article that follows up on our previous post on the attempt in Massachusetts to control costs with its medical mistake DA&O law (disclosure, apology and offer). The article by Dr. Darshak Sanghavi is headlined, Why is it so hard for doctors to apologize? Fixing a system built on blame and revenge will require bold ways of analyzing mistakes and a radical embrace of openness. 

Sanghavi wrote:
"Last August, Massachusetts enacted reforms that usually make doctors’ apologies inadmissible in court, require claimants to file “letters of intent” before suing, and impose a six-month waiting period to allow doctors and patients to work out the matter. The law might pave the way for earlier, more amicable settlements.

But the bitter fact is that there is no appetite in the medical community to come clean preemptively about every medical error. The list of them is just too long. No major reforms, including those just passed here, are truly proactive, since they all still require patients or families to call a lawyer before anything happens."
 See previous post: Massachusetts Passes Health Care Cost Control Bill.