Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tennessee's Proposed Med Mal Reform Not Likely To Benefit Patients

Ask any politician funded by insurance companies or physicians and they will tell you that medical malpractice suits are bad. Without any empirical evidence, they will confidently tell you that malpractice suits increase healthcare costs, that they increase malpractice premiums for doctors, and discourage physicians from practicing. Though prior studies by Harvard University and others have refuted these myths - the myths remain.

A new study of dramatic medical malpractice reform in Texas once again shows that reforms do not solve the problems alleged by politicians and instead may harm patients in the long run. In fact, the new report concludes that the real "data do(es) not support claims made about benefits of reform. And the problem of negligence by physicians,other providers, and institutions is still largely ignored" in the presence of reform.

Please read this article and call your legislator. Do not assume malpractice will not happen to you. Tennessee recently passed sensible, bi-partisan reforms which ensured that frivolous malpractice cases would not be filed. The playing field is now level for negligent doctors and injured patients. Tennessee's 2011 proposed reforms seek to limit what a physician or hospital must pay you for their negligence now matter how severe the injury may be. These proposals would benefit insurers. However, anyone who is injured or disabled by malpractice beyond the arbitrary cap or limit on claims would be financially devastated and/or become a burden on taxpayers by winding up with state and government benefits such as TennCare or Medicare. The only way to protect you and your family is to ask your legislators to leave Tennessee's malpractice laws alone.

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