Feb 08 2013
For Immediate Release:
Medical Justice today endorsed the “Patient Injury Act,” a proposal introduced in the Georgia Senate to replace the state’s broken medical malpractice system with a no-blame, administrative model that will fairly compensate patients and decrease the practice of defensive medicine.
The “Patient Injury Act” would eliminate the current adversarial, legal system in which doctors are often sued for frivolous reasons. In the current system, both doctors and patients are consumed by an inefficient process that lasts for years. Patients who have been harmed would file a claim for review by an independent panel of medical experts. If the panel deemed “avoidable harm” occurred, the claim would be forwarded to a Compensation Board to award compensation.
“Our current malpractice system is severely broken. The Patients’ Compensation System would certainly be aligned philosophically with our ideas at Medical Justice to create bold change in how we address those who are injured by medical treatment,” said Dr. Jeff Segal, founder of Medical Justice.
While tort reforms have made it less onerous to pay for professional liability premiums, they have had little impact on defensive medicine. Defensive medicine is the ordering of tests and the performance of procedures with one thing in mind – to avoid being sued. “As a country, we have to get a handle on defensive medicine and this certainly gets us there,” Segal said
The Gallup organization says up to one in four dollars spent in healthcare can be attributed to defensive medicine. BioScience Valuation, a company that specializes in healthcare economics and financing, estimates that defensive medicine costs in the United States run about $270 to $650 billion annually. It found a Patients’ Compensation System could reduce defensive medicine costs as much as $2.6 trillion over a decade as doctors change their behavior.
The Georgia General Assembly will consider the “Patient Injury Act” this winter in its 40-day legislative session. It must adopt the proposal in the Senate and House and be signed by Gov. Nathan Deal to become law.
“I urge doctors throughout the country who want to see our malpractice system replaced with one that removes the target off the backs of physicians to call Georgia lawmakers and urge passage of this plan,” Dr. Segal said. “Georgia could be the flashpoint of a revolution to cure our malpractice crisis.”
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