Malpractice Reform Won’t Save Money

Ambulance Chasers II  2004  Linda Braucht (20th C. American) Computer graphicsTwo problems loom large over the American medical care system. First, we spend outrageous amounts of money on healthcare, with too many patients receiving too many services at too high a price. Second, our malpractice system is an international embarrassment, with too many healthcare providers sued by too many patients for too little reason.

Many experts have pointed out that these problems are two sides of the same coin. On the cost side: the high price of medical care makes doctors and hospitals into lucrative litigatory targets. On the malpractice side, litigation drives up healthcare costs by forcing physicians to charge higher fees so they can pay costly malpractice insurance, and by incentivizing these same physicians to order unnecessary tests and procedures to avoid getting sued by patients who expect such interventions. (To read the rest of this post and leave comments, please visit Forbes.)

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