I almost forgot to share a very important, and potentially game changing, bit of news.
On February 16, 2011 The House Judiciary Committee voted to approve the HEALTH Act medical liability reform legislation and the measure to the House floor for a vote.
If approved, the HEALTH Act, would limit medical liability non-economic damages at $250,000. I’ve mentioned several times in the past that tort reform, or limitations to the amount a physician can be held accountable for medical liability, was overlooked in the health care reform legislation. (That’s what happens when a bunch of lawyers make the law, they are reluctant to add anything that might affect their livelihood even when it’s for the greater good)
It’s estimated $100 billion annually is spent on defensive medicine – services not provided for the primary purpose of benefiting the patient, but rather to mitigate the risk of liability. We see it every day in our hospital and physician clinic, tests and procedures ordered for patients not because they need them, but because the provider is afraid of what might happen to his or her livelihood and reputation if the test or procedure is not performed.
I will be keeping a close eye on this legislation and I’ll make a point to keep you informed of progress.