Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Washington Post has a medical malpractice article: What Crisis? GAO: Malpractice Premium Spikes Don't Force Out Docs . The last two paragraphs state:

"Nationally, studies have found that doctors and hospitals win about 70 percent of cases that make it to a courtroom. Multimillion-dollar awards by juries are often bigger than the amount actually paid by an insurance company or doctor; these awards can be reduced by a judge, overturned on appeal or, more commonly, are the subject of negotiations between lawyers for both sides that dramatically reduce the amount a victim receives.

"What's often lost in this discussion is that there is much more malpractice than there are malpractice suits," Napoli noted. A 1991 study by Harvard University researchers, still regarded as the most influential of its kind, found that acts of medical negligence are eight to 10 times more common than malpractice lawsuits."

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Wisconsin Insurers Keep Jacking Up Premiums

Health costs slam firms again: Area companies to pay 23% more in premiums, try to share increase. Only 12 days ago, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel printed Is he overpaid? about Aurora Health Care’s three executives making $4,5000,000. And, insurance companies, like Humana Insurance (see July 28th), continue reporting sharply higher earnings due to double digit premium increases.

Wisconsin has some of the lowest medical malpractice insurance rates in America, but still has high health insurance costs. A 2003 study by the American Medical Society reports Wisconsin has the 6th lowest medical malpractice insurance premiums for physicians in the U.S. Wisconsin's Business Climate from Wisconsin Dept. of Commerce. Thus, despite claims of "tort reformers" spiraling health care costs have nothing to do with malpractice premiums. See the Des Moines Register article Don't blame malpractice suits: Reforming health care takes a lot more than caps on liability awards.

All evidence is there is no correlation between jury verdicts and health care insurance. Yet, insurers want to talk about "trial lawyers" and "tort reform" to defer the truth and by helping these insurers, certain politicians get paid off with donations from the industries profiting, Insurance, Health Care Professionals and Pharmaceutical & Health Products.