Adversarial Medical Malpractice Suits Counterproductive to Healthcare Interests

Why do Americans pay so much for healthcare? Ask a lawyer and a common answer is greedy practitioners. Ask a physician, and the scapegoat is the plaintiffs’ bar with usurious malpractice premiums and unscrupulous attorneys. Unfortunately, this antipathy does nothing to address the real issues: (1) medical mistakes and competence; (2) accurate portrayal of risks and benefits with informed consent; (3) patient harm and restitution for injury; (4) quality assurance processes, best practices and continuing medical education.

 

Regrettably, the issue of malpractice in the United States is stuck in an adversarial quagmire. On one side, attorneys believe that litigation is the key to better outcomes, as it does three things: first it punishes malfeasance, which is assumed to be the cause of all morbidity and mortality; second, it acts as a deterrent to further incompetent acts; finally, it provides retribution to the afflicted. From the provider’s point of view, bad outcomes do occur, without fault, and full disclosure and discussion is discouraged so predatory lawsuits can be avoided, or at least minimized-- obfuscation supplants transparency.

 

In the game of legal vs medical, the real losers are the patients. Death and complications, per se, should not be the drivers of financial disbursement between defendants and plaintiffs. Instead, the quality assurance process should provide education to prevent future misfortune. This requires the medical profession to emphasize disclosure and education, not denial. Adversarial processes should be supplanted by open forum discussion and expert judicial arbitration so families can understand as best as possible what happened and why, and be fairly compensated if appropriate. Moreover, this disclosure process should be initiated as proximate as possible to the event when the “facts” are most discoverable and a continuous line of communication established until resolution.  This process should be governed by mutual respect, not animosity.

 

Although tort reform has been effected in many states, the rules of bringing suit and conducting the legal process have just been tweaked. The intrinsically flawed system has not been changed. I do not purport knowing, nor presenting, the ultimate solution for this critical problem and welcome input from all reasoned parties.

 

 

By Norman Silverman, MD, with Ryan McKennon, DO and Ren Carlton

Making Money With Your Business, Profit and Cash Flow, Five Sustainable Companies That Make a Lot of MoneyFind Angel Funding & Venture Capital for Business Startups, Entrepreneurs, & First Time Founders – Episode 10

It is time to make money! You have been through a couple of rounds of market testing now you feel like you are on to something. The next step is to run the numbers to make sure that the business is sustainable. There are two sides to making money, profitability and cash flow.

Why Competition Is Good For Entrepreneurs and How Blockbuster’s $50 Million Mistake Helped Reed Hastings and Netflix Destroy a $6 Billion Empire Find Angel Funding & Venture Capital for Business Startups, Entrepreneurs, & First Time Founders – Epis

When battling for resources or investment, early-stage entrepreneurs may believe that competition is a bad thing. On the surface, they are correct. There are a limited number of angel investors willing to provide a finite amount of venture capital to founders.

Upscaling and Scaling Business Ideas into Reality – Jeff Bezos takes Amazon from Online Bookstore to Global DominanceFind Angel Funding & Venture Capital for Business Startups, Entrepreneurs, & First Time Founders – Episode 4

Congratulations, your market testing worked and you were able to find customers, or at least one customer. Your beta test was successful and you are confident that you are ready for more. What do you do when you start getting customers or users? I recommend you do some scaling or upscaling.

What Kind of Business Should You Start? – How Mark Zuckerberg Pivoted From Rating Hotness to FacebookFind Angel Funding & Venture Capital for Business Startups, Entrepreneurs, & First Time Founders – Episode 1

When it comes to brainstorming startup ideas, new entrepreneurs and even seasoned ones scratch their heads in confusion. Living in the information age, you can scan the current market and see countless new business ideas. With so many options out there, how do you know which one is right for you?

Why Would a Doctor Abandon a Steady Paycheck to Become an Entrepreneur?

As physicians, we are expected to be compliant with rules, restrictions, and regulations. We are expected to be risk averse. We are expected to be “providers,” but not necessarily innovators or leaders. As the healthcare system becomes increasingly consolidated into large overcrowded clinics, we are required to perform to the standards set by bureaucrats and clinic managers. These rules are often at odds with the best interests of patients and with our sanity.

The Alienation Of America’s Best Doctors

The best and the brightest simply don’t want to become doctors anymore. Physicians are burning out. They are leaving the profession. They are going bankrupt. They are selling their private practices to big hospitals. They are retiring early. We are facing a growing doctor shortage.

Better to Live and Die in the U.S.A.

The United States healthcare system is often berated for how it treats patients near the end of life. They are purportedly attached to tubes and machines and subjected to unnecessary invasive procedures that cause inordinate pain with no potential benefit, there is underutilization of more compassionate hospice services. This “travesty” is expensive, as the care of dying seniors consumes over 25% of Medicare expenditures. We hear this story so often; it is almost taken as gospel-- but is it actually true? Is it more expensive and invasive to die in America than in other developed countries?

Gun Ownership and Doctors?

According to the Pew Research Center, there are approximately 32,000 gun-related deaths annually in the United States; 19,000 are suicide, 11,000 are homicide, and the rest are accidents, police shootings or of unknown causation. Moreover, there are more than 78,000 nonfatal gun wounds each year. Given the disproportionate number of victims that are less than 40 years of age, the morbidity and mortality of gun violence is significant. Physicians are involved with many types of public health issues, but few are as controversial or divisive as gun safety. Is it really an issue that falls within the medical domain?

O Tempora, O Mores: Affordable Care Act - Big Dream or Big Let Down?

I confess I was a strong proponent of the Affordable Care Act. My reasoning was subtler than the hallowed pantheons of its staunch supporters and the apocalyptic predictions of its detractors. Forty years after graduating medical school I concluded, after many stutter steps, the American healthcare delivery system was economically unsustainable and the citizenry was neither living longer, nor better, despite medical expenditures that dwarf any other developed nation. My career also allowed me to personally interact with cardiac surgeons from all continents and see that their clinical results and research efforts were laudatory by any standards.
Page: 123 - All