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Could Legislation End Malpractice Lawsuits?

August 25, 2015
Colson Hicks Eidson

There is new legislation making its way to our state from Massachusetts and Oregon. In this new system, if a patient is injured, they can get a patient advocate and ask a panel of medical experts to review the case. If that panel agrees that a mistake was made, the case is forwarded to a compensation committee that determines how much that patient should receive.

No lawyers are involved unless the patient wants one, and doctors pay a fee to the system that should be less than paying for malpractice insurance. This means the system should eliminate the need for malpractice insurance, destroy defensive medicine practices, and keep physicians from being sued. However, some believe the math doesn’t add up.

Is This System Better Than Filing Malpractice Lawsuits?

Proponents claim that the system would increase the amount of patients seeking compensation for medical injuries, but insist that it would cost no more than what is being paid right now for malpractice compensation. However, unless average malpractice payouts are somehow reduced, the program would actually cost much more than paying for separate civil litigations.

To compensate for the unseen costs of this system, doctors would be required to pay higher fees, which could quickly become more expensive than malpractice insurance premiums. And if that’s not enough to make up the shortfall, then taxpayers could be asked to pick up the difference.

Will This New Legislation Do What They Say It Will?

Considering the failure of tort reform, many analysts also question whether a program such as this could reduce the practice of defensive medicine, and there remains questions about the reporting of physician mistakes. These problems make it seem like this new program could actually cause many more problems than it solves.

The lawyers of Colson Hicks Eidson want you to be aware of the potential changes to Florida state laws. For more information about your rights and news, keep following our blogFacebook, and Twitter.

Colson Hicks Eidson—Injury Attorneys