Munsey S. Wheby, MD
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Wheby MS. Patient Safety and Medical Malpractice. Ann Intern Med. 2004;140:933. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-140-11-200406010-00023
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2004;140(11):933.
Dr. Gale's proposal for an injured patient superfund is an interesting concept and one that deserves further exploration.
The College is aggressively pushing for changes to the U.S. medical tort system. We are examining options such as a no-fault system, alternative dispute resolution, and enterprise liability.
Currently, we are primarily concerned with reforming the tort system by capping noneconomic damage awards (that is, awards for pain and suffering) at $250 000. Such a cap has already been successfully tested in California. A recent study by economist Kenneth Thorpe titled “The Medical Malpractice ‘Crisis’: Recent Trends and the Impact of State Tort Reforms,” which was published in Health Affairs(1), clearly demonstrated this fact. Mr. Thorpe's sweeping examination of past state tort reform efforts showed that the $250 000 cap is the most effective way to reduce rates of professional liability insurance premiums.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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