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State Solutions

A Proposed Solution to Reduce Defensive Medicine

The Problem

  1. As much as $650 billion per year is spent on medically unnecessary patient care.
  2. Less than 20% of injured patients receive compensation.
  3. The current litigation system is adversarial, expensive and inefficient.

The traditional method to addressing the threat of lawsuits and mounting malpractice premiums has been tort reform at the state level. However, the current tort system does not go far enough to significantly decrease the practice of defensive medicine.

What is Defensive Medicine?

Defensive medicine is the practice of ordering medical tests, procedures, or consultations of doubtful clinical value in order to protect prescribing physicians from costly and frivolous malpractice suits.

Why Do Physicians Practice Defensive Medicine?

  1. Physicans are personally liable and financially at risk for their medical decisions, including unforeseen and unpredictable outcomes.
  2. They abhor the litigation process.

What About Tort Reform ("Caps")?

Tort reform does not address the reasons why physicians practice defensive medicine (see above).  It merely places limits on their financial exposure.

The traditional method to addressing the threat of lawsuits and mounting malpractice premiums has been tort reform at the state level. However, the current tort system does not go far enough to significantly decrease the practice of defensive medicine.

Eliminating a physicians' fear of personal financial liability will reduce the incentive for physicians to order unnecessary tests and procedures, driving down health care costs.

The Solution: A Patients' Compensation System (PCS)

The Patients' Compensation System is an alternative to traditional medical malpractice litigation that draws upon what works in the U.S. worker's compensation system, other nations and within innovative medical malpractice solutions.

A PCS will ensure all patients receive fair, timely compensation through an easily navigable administrative process that will cost them less and yield compensation quicker and more often than today's litigation based system.

The PCS will focus on improving the overall quality of patient care by encouraging the reporting of medical errors and providing data-driven resources so the medical community can learn from avoidable errors in a safe, confidential environment.

View the one-page summary of the Patients' Compensation System.

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