American Progress on medical malpractice "reform"
Can anyone refute the 2% figure cited with actual numbers, and not by resorting to the defensive medicine/insurance fraud bogeyman?
Myth: Medical malpractice lawsuits are little more than predatory lawyers destroying honest doctors; caps should be set on the amount awarded to accusers.
Truth: Although the malpractice system is deeply flawed, setting caps deflects attention from patient safety and would likely not reduce frivolous lawsuits or costly premiums.
Medical malpractice liability is in need of reform, but claims of a nationwide crisis are overblown. Malpractice claims and insurance premiums vary by specialty and geographic area—doctors in obstetrics or surgery tend to pay higher premiums, for example. What increases occur in malpractice premiums can be linked primarily to a sluggish economy. In fact, malpractice costs represent less than 2 percent of total health care spending. There is little correlation between malpractice claim increases and premium increases. (Emphasis added.)
Enacting caps on awards threatens individual rights to compensation for harm resulting from preventable medical error, mostly because so-called frivolous lawsuits represent only a small portion of claims and awards by juries. Focusing on tort reform deflects attention from patient safety in a system where victims are not fairly compensated and errors are not properly prevented. The solution to rising costs should instead consist of more emphasis on evidence-based medicine, independent screening, immediate disclosure of errors, and even a no-fault system of compensation.