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Posts Tagged ‘medical malpractice’

Cut Medical Mistakes in Half by 2017 to Save Lives and Money

May 23rd, 2012

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This piece was originally posted on the Atlantic.

Medical mistakes are dangerous, costly, and often hidden until it’s too late. Patients do their best not to think about them, because of their need to trust in their doctors. Who wants to study a surgeon’s error rates right before going under the knife? For their part, doctors don’t like to admit they erred, especially when they might get sued. But a culture that avoids confronting mistakes will only perpetuate them.

Medical leaders and patient groups have made some progress reducing one type of error: infections contracted in hospitals. Organizations like the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and medical schools like Johns Hopkins University have engaged and educated doctors and nurses about preventing these infections. Consumers Union and other patient groups have won enactment of legislation in 30 states to require hospitals to report how often their patients contract a preventable infection. Congress has provided funds for additional infection reporting in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As a result of all of this effort, infection rates are declining. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found declines of as much as 58 percent for various hospital infections over the last several years. Read the rest of this entry »

Could Tort Reform Help Rescue Health Care Legislation?

March 2nd, 2010

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This piece was originally published in Roll Call.

As Democrats prepare to go another round on health care, they should rethink one of their traditional positions — opposition to medical malpractice reform — and offer a bold proposal. Such an offer would be smart policy and politics, helping to bend the cost curve and calling the Republicans’ bluff on their willingness to back a significant, bipartisan idea.

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