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Decrease Malpractice Claims: Improve Quality of Care, Not Tort Reform

July 30th, 2015 at 12:03 pm

quality of care, Westport Injury Attorney, tort reformThere has been much movement—pushed along by the medical and insurance—to institute tort reform regarding a patient’s legal right to sue medical personal when treatment has caused injury or illness. This movement has included placing caps on the amount of non-economic damages, as well as placing stringent time limits on when an injured patient has to file his or her medical malpractice lawsuit.

Advocates for tort reform say it is necessary because there are too many false and/or frivolous lawsuits, causing medical and insurance costs to skyrocket. A new study, however, found there may be another way to cut down on the number of malpractice lawsuits that are filed—offer better medical care.

The study was conducted by researchers from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield, IL, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, Allscripts, Chicago, IL, and Griffin Hospital, Derby, CT. It was published in the American Journal of Medical Quality.

The research team used a hospital in Louisiana and a hospital in Texas to conduct their study. Both hospitals were owned by the same medical corporation. They chose those two locations because of the difference in tort reform which has occurred in those two states. During the time period from which the team took their data, Louisiana had not implemented significant tort reform; however, Texas had. In Texas, for example, attorneys have lost the ability to use contingency fees as compensation to represent injured clients.

Although there were no changes in tort reform during that time period in Louisiana, there were changes in the quality of care the hospital offered patients. This quality of care was based on the same 22 factors that Medicare uses to determine quality of care.

The study found that both hospitals had a reduction in malpractice claims, yet for different reasons. Therefore, this proved that the system does not need tort reform to decrease medical malpractice claims, but should instead be focusing on improving the care patients receive in hospitals and reducing medical errors which are one of the leading causes of patient injury.

If you have been injured or become ill because of medical treatment you have received, contact an experienced Westport personal injury attorney to find out what legal recourse you may have. Call Attorney Richard H. Raphael at 203-226-6168 for a free consultation.

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