Statistics Show Malpractice Suits Insignificant on Overall Medical Costs
(EMAILWIRE.COM, May 28, 2013 ) Albuquerque, NM -- While there is consistent talk about the leaching of medical-care funds through high payouts for malpractice suits, the National Practitioners Data Bank has shown that the cost is fractional overall.
The findings were published in the Journal of Healthcare Quality, and showed that so-called catastrophic payouts accounted for an 'insignificant percentage' of overall healthcare expenditures. The heavy payouts, which often garner the most attention when discussion of medical costs are debated or discussed, account for nearly $1.4 billion per year. While the number is not seemingly significant on its own, the tally accounts for 0.05% of the U.S. Healthcare costs.
In other words, the amount of money lost on such cases accounts for 5% of a single percent, or 1/20 of 1%. For anyone who still has trouble imagining the amount, one if a penny constituted 1%, then you would need 20 of the payment costs to make up a single penny.
Critics have suggested that there are simply too many that are practicing the defensive medicine practices, as physicians are concerned they will be sued if they do not stick to such plans. But many would assume that we want doctors ordering tests, as precaution is better than being too late to save a patient. Still, in the case of malpractice concerns, many likely need to avoid making doctors simply 'too safe'.
Malpractice prevention is simply not useful, giving very little impact, if any at all. States like Georgia have even gone as far as to pass laws that require malpractice plaintiffs to prove clear and convincing evidence of the neglect of a doctor if they are to bring a case to court. That means that it is nearly impossible for one to win a case against a negligent doctor. Certainly that is a bit much, while other states hold very little accountability for malpractice situations.
Many of those who seek compensation are seeking merely a fair compensation for the error, and often times that is simply to pay the extra medical care provided following the mistake or misstep. Most are not interested in a lottery settlement, and the numbers seem to show that fact.
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