Medical malpractice is not to blame for high medical costs

Thursday May 16, 2013

The healthcare industry has continued to plague the wallets of many New Haven residents. High medical costs have been an ongoing issue for many Americans, but why are they so high? Some researchers have suggested that it is due to high payouts from medical malpractice lawsuits, but after a recent study from John Hopkins University, some will say this is not true.

In fact, John Hopkins researchers found that medical malpractice lawsuits over $1 million make up less than 1 percent of all medical expenses in America. The study concluded that “It is not the payouts that are bankrupting the system – it’s the fear of them.” At least $60 billion is spent annually by medical professionals on defense medicine where medical malpractice claims over $1 million only makes up $1 billion. While medical malpractice may not increase the medical industry, it can still cause damaging results to victims.

Medical malpractice lawsuits often result when a patient is injured or harmed due to the poor medical treatment or mistaken diagnosis from a medical provider. According to the study, the most common allegations with medical malpractice are diagnosis related. Anytime a doctor fails to properly diagnose a patient and injury or death results, a lawsuit typically follows. Most health care providers attempt to provide the safest environment for their patients, but just like any other profession mistakes do happen.

Any New Haven residents that have been injured from the negligence of a medical professional may be compensated for their injuries. While medical malpractice may not directly cause an increase in medical costs, it can have detrimental effects to victims.

Source: Insurance Journal, “Medical Malpractice Payouts Not Driving Up Health Costs: Study,” May 8, 2013

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