Does Fear of a Lawsuit Really Result in Extra Medical Tests?

Doctors in America often fight against the current medical malpractice system.

They insist that the system forces them to order unnecessary tests and procedures to protect themselves if a patient seeks to sue them.

What’s interesting is that research from both Duke and M.I.T. found that the possibility of a lawsuit increased considerably the intensity of health care for patients by roughly 5%.  This increase was not to the benefit of the patient and ultimately only increased the amount of testing they received. In efforts to combat this, some states have imposed caps for monetary damages in order to limit the amount of money the medical industry could potentially lose resulting from a lawsuit.

The problem with this is that caps can prevent most medical malpractice cases from ever being surfaced because of all the costs it takes for a case to even make it to the initial hearing.

Here are even more reasons medical malpractice caps should be eliminated:

  1. They may be unconstitutional-  Florida’s supreme court ruled that the cap on wrongful death non-economic damages that was adopted in 2003 violates the equal protection clause held by the state.
  2. Caps hurt patients- Caps take away the need for health care practitioners to make sure they are proving patients with quality care. This can potentially put millions of people at risk who rely on the medical industry for their health care needs.
  3. Insurance companies are the only ones who benefit from caps- American Association for Justice AAJ found in a study that in the states that utilize medical malpractice caps the insurance companies benefited solely; their profits by 24%.
  4. They are simply unnecessary- The argument for caps is that medical malpractice lawsuits increase medical spending. However, when looking at the data this is not the case. In a DePaul Law Review article, the authors found that there has been a steady decline in claim occurrence over the past several years. This despite the fact that health care spending and treatment intensity is on the rise.

These four points will be important to keep in mind over the next several years as this argument continues to heat up. Medical malpractice lawyers are not the enemy and are in fact the people who are most determined to win justice for those who were injured or who lost their lives to the medical industry. If you or someone you love has been injured in a hospital; you may have a claim for medical malpractice. Don’t wait too long for the statute of limitations to expire. Give us a call today for free to discuss your options for receiving the justice you deserve.  (903) 526-1600