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Study That Finds Malpractice Claims Do Not Reduce Patient Risk Fails to See Big Picture

GavelLawmakers, doctors, and other vested parties have spent years trying to muck up the already complex medical malpractice claims system. A newly released study, in which researchers found that claims do not necessarily reduce the risk for patients, may assist them in their attempts at doing so. There is just one little problem: the study fails to see the big picture, and that could mean serious trouble for victims.

Findings of the Study

Published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, the study examined data on approximately 890,000 Medicare members who had undergone surgery in one of 3,200 hospitals across the country. Researchers determined that certain post-surgical complications, such as sepsis and pneumonia, were more likely to occur in states with more aggressive tort laws. However, the increase was minimal. Also, the study authors could not directly link a specific tort environment to improved post-surgical outcomes. That did not stop them from trying to convince the public that tort laws lead to poorer outcomes for patients.

On top of suggesting that aggressive malpractice laws could increase the risk of post-surgical complications, the authors stated that aggressive tort does not improve doctor behavior. Instead, it may lead to an increased risk of defensive medicine, which is considered excessive care beyond the patient’s needs. Healthcare’s major concern with this type of medicine is the way it drives up costs for both patients and physicians. The cost to physicians is, in many ways irrelevant, especially when you look at the big picture.

Examining the big Picture

Improved safety for patients is a top priority – not just for advocates and lobbyists, but many physicians and healthcare professionals as well. They know that the risk is too high, and many will never find themselves the subject of a malpractice claim. In fact, former studies have found that it is often the same doctors, over and over, who are responsible for the bulk share of the nation’s malpractice claims.

So why keep the tort system aggressive? Why not scale back and attempt to improve the healthcare environment? Because less aggressive malpractice laws do not translate into better outcomes for patients. They do not stop poor performing doctors from harming more people. All they do is decrease the payout for severely injured victims, and that is a risk that activists are unwilling to take.

Victims already receive far less compensation than most people realize, and once long-term healthcare costs, legal fees, and medical bills are paid, none of them end up “rich.” Many are lucky to have enough left to cover their lifelong expenses. That is why the tort system matters, and it is why aggressive litigation is not only warranted but needed.

Contact Our San Jose Medical Malpractice Lawyers

If you or someone you love has been injured by medical malpractice, contact Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard, LLP for assistance. Dedicated to your best interests, our San Jose medical malpractice lawyers have been serving victims since 1976. No matter what the situation, we will fight for the most favorable outcome in your case. Schedule your no-cost consultation by calling (408) 289-1417 today.

Client Reviews
My experience with Attorney Brad Corsiglia during my recent medical malpractice case was nothing short of amazing given the very stressful circumstances. I was fortunate to find Brad highly recommended from a mutual contact and from the very beginning of the process, Brad was truly engaged and knowledgeable in understanding my case and providing input on what avenues were available to me. Michelle M.