Healthcare tort reform proposal aims to benefit patients, but many lawyers, doctors oppose

The Florida Times-Union
Monday, February 18, 2013

An idea described as a strategy to control health costs and improve the quality of care is drawing opposition from doctors.

Trial lawyers who make a living suing doctors and hospitals are also opposed.

And so far, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce that normally advocates for ways to save employers money on insurance premiums isn’t supportive. It’s taking no position at all.

Lawyers not on board

In one corner is the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, the attorneys whose livelihood comes from suing doctors and hospitals. The group argues that the threat of losing a big lawsuit is what helps prompt medical providers to be careful and invest in safeguards against accidents.

They can point to a December critique by the Center for Justice & Democracy at New York Law School that concludes injured patients would get smaller payouts.

“That only means one thing: dramatic reductions in recoveries for the most seriously injured patients to levels well below their actual losses, likely forcing them onto other government health and disability programs, such as Medicaid,” the report stated.

In another corner is the Medical Association of Georgia, the professional association for physicians. Forty doctors on its board voted unanimously to oppose the bill, according to MAG Executive Director Donald Palmisano.


For a copy of the complete article, contact CJ&D.

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