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Ezra klein - the medical malpractice myth. - by ezra klein - slate magazine


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Ezra klein - the medical malpractice myth. - by ezra klein - slate magazine

  1. 1. BRIEFING NEWS & POLITICS ARTS LIFE BUSINESS & TECH SCIENCE PODCASTS & VIDEO BLOGS Search ALSO IN SLATEHOME / MEDICAL EXAMINER : HEALTH AND MEDICINE EXPLAINED.The Medical Malpractice MythForget tort reform. The Democrats have a better diagnosis.By Ezra Klein The Movie That Makes a How Do You Get Rural African Better Case for Sarah Palin AIDS Patients To TrustPosted Tuesday, July 11, 2006, at 6:20 AM ET Than She Ever Did Western Medicine? The Republican answer to runaway health-care spending is to cap jury awards in medical malpractice suits. For the fifth time in four years, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist tried and failed to cap awards at $250,000 during his self- proclaimed "Health Care Week" in May. But this time, the The Five Most Interesting The Trip: The Finest Michael Democrats put a better idea on the table. Things Youll Ever Read Caine-Impression Showdown About the Porn Industry in History Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama also want to save on Like 122 RECOMMENDED FOR YOU S e ns. B i l l F ri st and H i l l ary C l i nt on health care. But rather than PRINT capping jury awards, they hope Is Rosie Huntington-Whiteley really the DISCUSSto cut the number of medical malpractice cases by reducing medical hottest swimsuit model in the world? E-MAIL (StyleBistro)errors, as they explain in an article in the New England Journal ofMedicine. In other words, to the Republicans, suits and payouts are RSS Los Angeles Lakers Mike Brown: Firstthe ill. To the Democrats, the problem is a slew of medical injuries meeting with Kobe Bryant went very well RECOMMEND... (ESPN)of which the suits are a symptom. The latest evidence shows theDemocrats diagnosis to be right. REPRINTS Exxon, Chevron rivals in Yukos bid? ( SINGLE PAGE Toyota forecasts sharp drop in profits RELATED IN SLATE The best attempt to ( synthesize the academic literature on medical malpractice is Tom Bakers The Medical Malpractice 5 Financial Mistakes People Make David Dobbs presents the Swedish fix to ( medical malpractice. Michael Kinsley Myth, published last November. Baker, a law attacks the American Medical professor at the University of Connecticut who [whats this] Associations approach to tort reform. studies insurance, argues that the hype about Atul Gawande argues that when medical medical malpractice suits is "urban legend mixed errors happen, doctors are to blame, not "the system." with the occasional true story, supported by on Facebook selective references to academic studies." After all, Like 146,144including legal fees, insurance costs, and payouts, the cost of the suits comes to less than one-half of 1 percent of health-care spending. If anything, there are fewer lawsuits than would be Bush tax cuts 10th anniversary: Theyve beenexpected, and far more injuries than we usually imagine. a failure in every conceivable way. 7,912 people shared this. NBA Finals 2011: LeBron James MichaelAs proof, Baker marshals an overwhelming array of research. The most impressive and Jordan problem.comprehensive study is by the Harvard Medical Practice released in 1990. The Harvard 696 people shared this.researchers took a huge sample of 31,000 medical records, dating from the mid-1980s, and Floridas crazy new law preventing doctorshad them evaluated by practicing doctors and nurses, the professionals most likely to be from asking patients about their guns.sympathetic to the demands of the doctors office and operating room. The records went 2,194 people shared this.through multiple rounds of evaluation, and a finding of negligence was made only if two Brow Beat : The Return of Rollerblades?doctors, working independently, separately reached that conclusion. Even with this 1,160 people shared this.conservative methodology, the study found that doctors were injuring one out of every 25 View My Network on Slate » Why a Sarah Palin presidential campaign ispatients—and that only 4 percent of these injured patients sued. hopeless. MOST 917 people shared this. MOST READ E-MAILEDThe Harvard study stands for a large body of literature. On their own, however, the results Ken Burns Civil War: How the documentary changed the way we think about the war.dont disprove the Republicans thesis that many medical malpractice suits are frivolous. Maybe 1. Thanks a Lot, Ken Burns 1,890 people shared this.badly injured patients dont sue, while the reflexively litigious clog up the legal system, making Because of you, my Civil War lecture is always packed— with students raised on your sentimental, romantic, deeply Anthony Weiner scandal: In defense of thetort reform a viable solution. But a new study, released in May, demolishes that possibility. Dr. misleading portrait of the conflict. crotch shot.David Studdert led a team of eight researchers from Harvard School of Public Health, Brigham By James M. Lundberg |this. 7, 2011 289 people shared Juneand Womens Hospital, and the Harvard Risk Management Foundation* who examined 1,452 2. Happy 10 th Birthday, Bush Tax Cuts! to wear Appropriate work attire: What is OKmedical malpractice lawsuits. They found that more than 90 percent of the claims showed Youveto theaoffice in the summer? been failure in every conceivable way.evidence of medical injury, which means they werent frivolous. In 60 percent of these cases, By Annie Lowreyshared this. 311 people | June 8, 2011the injury resulted from physician wrongdoing. In a quarter of the claims, the patient died. 3. The Guide to the Pornextract Fired (and resigned) journalists Industry literary revenge on their former bosses. From the inspiration for Boogie Nights to the twisted psyche 2,336 people shared this. of a professional porn reviewer, five great reads about the
  2. 2. business of smut.When baseless medical malpractice suits were brought, the study further found, the courts By Max Linsky | June 10, 2011efficiently threw them out. Only six of the cases in which the researchers couldnt detect injury 4. Lunch With David Mametreceived even token compensation. Of those in which an injury resulted from treatment, but The dramatist says hes "crazy" about Sarah Palin. By John Gapper | June 11, 2011evidence of error was uncertain, 145 out of 515 received compensation. Indeed, a biggerproblem was that 236* cases were thrown out of court despite evidence of injury and error to 5. Airlesspatients by physicians. The other approximately 1,050 cases, in the research teams opinion, LeBron James Michael Jordan problem. By Josh Levin | June 10, 2011were decided correctly, with damage awards going to the injured and dismissal foiling thefrivolous suits.* TODAYS TODAYS TODAYS TODAYS PICTURES CARTOONS DOONESBURY VIDEONor is there evidence to show that the level of jury awards has shot up. A recent RAND studylooked at the growth in malpractice awards between 1960 and 1999. "Our results are Spring rolls eternal.striking," the research team concluded. "Not only do we show that real average awards havegrown by less than real income over the 40 years in our sample, we also find that essentiallyall of this growth can be explained by changes in observable case characteristics and claimedeconomic losses."Which brings us back to the Republicans and Democrats divergent approaches. The Obama-Clinton legislation fits well with Studderts and RANDs findings. It also builds on successfulefforts by the nations anesthesiologists and a few hospitals to reduce their medical malpracticepayouts.Anesthesiologists used to get hit with the most malpractice lawsuits and some of the highestinsurance premiums. Then in the late 1980s, the American Society of Anesthesiologistslaunched a project to analyze every claim ever brought against its members and develop new GET TODAY IN SLATEways to reduce medical error. By 2002, the specialty had one of the highest safety ratings inthe profession, and its average insurance premium plummeted to its 1985 level, bucking Sign up for Slates daily trends. Similarly, feeling embattled by a high rate of malpractice claims, the Enter your e-mail address.University of Michigan Medical System in 2002 analyzed all adverse claims and used the datato restructure procedures to guard against error. Since instituting the program, the number ofsuits has dropped by half, and the universitys annual spending on malpractice litigation is MORE MEDICAL EXAMINER COLUMNSdown two-thirds. And at the Lexington, Ky., Veterans Affairs Medical Center, a program of earlydisclosure and settlement of malpractice claims lowered average settlement costs to $15,000, We Eat Crap. It Makes Us Sick.compared with $83,000 for other VA hospitals. Our inability to talk about it is driving the hysteria around Europes E. coli outbreak.Clinton and Obama would offer federal grants and support to unroll such programs nationwide. Kent Sepkowitz | June 6, 2011And they want to create a national database to track incidents of malpractice and fund Man Milkresearch into standards, procedures, and technologies that would prevent future injuries. So, My curious quest to breast-feed.what say you, Bill Frist? Is it time for another Health Care Week? Michael Thomsen | May 25, 2011 CursesCorrection, July 11, 2006: The original paragraph misstated the relevant numbers in the Are there really more accidents on Friday the 13th ?Studdert malpractice study. (Return to the corrected paragraph.) Atul Gawande | May 13, 2011 Search for more Medical Examiner articlesCorrection, July 17, 2006: The original sentence incorrectly stated the institutional Subscribe to the Medical Examiner RSS feedaffiliations of the researchers. (Return to the corrected paragraph.) View our complete Medical Examiner archiveThe original sentence incorrectly stated the number of cases thrown out of court despiteevidence of injury and physician error. (Return to the corrected paragraph.) Weiner admits #Twitter exchange with teen:Like Slate on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter. Is Romney going to pull a Hillary in Iowa? Or join the discussion 1 Comments Add Yours on the Fray How to fight AIDS in Tanzania: Rep. Weiner to Seek Treatment, Leave of Absence from Like This Story Like 122 people like this. Be the first of your friends. House Sasha Obama Celebrates Her 10th Birthday Fat Joe Loses 88 Pounds MORE FROM SLATE MORE FROM THE WEB Shaquille ONeal thanks Los Angeles Pyongyang Spring?: The Arab Revolutions Even Have Obama Gets Cranky About Alpha Lakers, says he will not coach (from ESPN) Kim Jong Il Nervous Kappa Alpha Will the Spoiled Children of Yemens Rival Leaders Tear What Does the Bible Say About Sears off amid management shakeup the Country Apart? Mitch Daniels’ Unusual Marriage? (from Twits: Anthony Weiner Isnt the Only Politician Who Fired (and resigned) journalists Certificate of deposit investing Shouldve Thought Before He Tweeted extract literary revenge on their strategies (from former bosses. Victoria’s Secret Model May Lose Job for
  3. 3. Charles Krauthammer: The Being Too Thin (from Diets in Review) Unforgivable Thing About Arrogant, H-P Outlook Gloomy: Can Tablets, Ugly, Corrupt, Unserious Liberals Is WebOS Turn Things Around (from Their Contempt for People Who CFOWorld) Disagree With Them [whats Slate Magazine - Editorial and this] Political Cartoons, Comic Strips Ezra Klein is a writing fellow at The American Prospect. Photgraph of Sens. Bill Frist and Hillary Clinton by Joshua Roberts/Getty Images. Login Login required, click here to begin Share This Page Follow Cancel Post Jonathan Michael Lloyd The above is all well and good, but what of the costs *within* the healthcare system due to a perception of risk due to lawsuits? I speak of the multiple lab tests that may not be necessary for a diagnosis or treatment option, and which add up to billions of dollars across this great land of ours. Friday, February 05, 2010, 15:43:49 – Flag – Reply Social Networking by Echo If comments do not automatically load, click here.The Movie That Makes a How Do You Get Rural The Five Most Interesting Why Do Celebrities Keep The Trip: The Finest A.S. Byatt: All of the ThingsBetter Case for Sarah Palin African AIDS Patients To Things Youll Ever Read Doing Dramatic Readings of Michael Caine-Impression Men Told Me WomenThan She Ever Did Trust Western Medicine? About the Porn Industry Unexpected Texts? Showdown in History Couldnt Do site map | build your own Slate | the fray | about us | contact us | Slate on Facebook | search | ad choices feedback | help | advertise | newsletters | mobile | make Slate your homepage Slate is published by The Slate Group, a Division of the Washington Post Company All contents © 2011 The Slate Group, LLC. All rights reserved. User Agreement and Privacy Policy