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Hospitals employ new measures to cut medical malpractice costs


Many hospitals in New Haven and the rest of Connecticut are witnessing a decline as far as medical malpractice insurance expenses are concerned. Healthcare professionals and executives say that it is explainable in part by improving patient outcomes and avoiding expensive medical errors. Just one decade ago, the state's healthcare industry was under siege from rising malpractice insurance costs.

According to statistics, medical malpractice insurance spending has significantly fallen since 2009. In the fiscal year of 2012, malpractice insurance costs amounted to $119.9 million. Although the current figures seem positive, executives have warned that the falling costs may not be a long term trend.

Almost a decade ago, the Connecticut state legislature introduced several policies designed to tighten medical malpractice oversight. These reforms included getting patients to have their case certified by a third party medical expert before filing a negligence claim.

The Connecticut Hospital Association initiated a collaborative program a few years ago that aimed to reduce risks and minimize mistakes to cut down malpractice costs. The plan is to adopt strategies employed in high risk industries like nuclear power and aerospace. Through this system, hospitals and healthcare executives hope to prevent medical mistakes and doctor errors from ever reaching the patient.

Although doctors and healthcare professionals are working toward creating an environment that prevents staff errors from harming patients, a margin for human error needs to be taken into account.

Keeping this in mind, there could be a chance that a patient might suffer because of a misdiagnosis or a fatal medical error. In such cases, an experienced personal injury attorney may be able to offer advice on the victim's legal options.

Source: HartfordBusiness.com, "Hospitals battle medical malpractice costs," Greg Bordonaro, April 28, 2014

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