Kia Franklin

Blog Stroll # 3: Tort Reform Wrong Medicine for Health Care Probs

There's a new entry on Piece of Mind cutting down an article that attempts to argue that tort reform will fix the problem of prohibitive health care costs (an argument that is about as tired and uninformed as the McDonald's argument for caps on damages). The blog is a good read and there's some interesting commenting going on over there. Here's a sneak preview:

The root of the problem is not people who go to the doctor too frequently. And more government interference is not the solution. If Congress and the Legislature want to get involved, they can start with tort reform.

There are so many levels on which to attack this silly statement - just the obvious: If government interference is not the solution, why do you advocate government interference in lawsuits and settlements in the form of caps? Isn’t that, like, massive interference?

And what, pray tell, is the exact relationship between Insure Montana’s problems and tort reform? (Hint - if you guessed “none”, you score a point. This is classic non sequitur.)

And what is the relationship between rising medical costs and legal settlements (”frivolous” lawsuits)? As John Kerry stated in one of the presidential debates in 2004, medical malpractice suits contribute less than 1%2% of the rising cost of health care...
Read more here.

The author, Mark Tokarski, really brings it on home when he argues that tort reform is a "solution" that only benefits the wealthiest members of society... And if we're concerned with the rising cost of health care, you'd think we'd want a solution that helps those who, say, are struggling to pay for the rising cost of health care. I don't know, maybe that's a little too much like right, as some say.

Kia Franklin: Author Bio | Other Posts
Posted at 2:08 PM, Nov 01, 2007 in Health Care
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I am supprised by the continued use of the idea that "medical malpractice is 1-2% of healthcare". In our emergency room alone 60-70% of ct scans and over 80% of mri scans are purely to avoid the one in a billion red herring that could result in a lawsuit. If we then look at EKGs in asymptomatic patients and the ever present full chemistry panels we have an incredible amount of money being wasted.

Here is the problem. A patient comes in the er out of the blue with a problem. You can perform an exam and treat it with 99% sensitivity and specificity. How much do you want to spend for that last 1%? Right now, the amount spend has nothing to do with medicine, rather it is on the threat of lawsuits. If you do not believe this, a simple thing to do is to volunteer in any ER in the country and you will see it first hand. Not to mention get the chance to be bit, hit and contract a disease from intoxicated, HIV positive, meth addicts.

We spend an incredible amount of money on healthcare here in the US, the problem is in how it is distributed. There are four main factors that are affecting this distribution are Insurance companies, the Government, Trial Attorneys, and Healthcare providers. If we want to fix healthcare we have to look at reforming all these players. We cant just fear our pocket book and say that our "tort system" does not need work.

Posted by: throckmorton | November 2, 2007 7:44 AM

Medical Malpractice also starts with hectic-ness...I find it amazing that doctors/clinics still don't use technology that is available at their "finger tips" to help them organize their working environments more

Studies show that in most clinics, medical areas that have disorganization the increase of mal-practice is greater...I guess you could apply that theory to any business...take a restaurant for example if you have dis-organization you may have a overcooked or undercooked meal and a bad stomach ache!....not a serious injury or worse death!

Solutions like LOBBY MANAGER are helping clinics/doctors/dentists, etc with increase efficiency and organization....take a look at this great tool


Posted by: Lobby Manager | November 9, 2007 12:16 PM