Posts Tagged ‘Health Care Reform’

Can Better Health Care be Legislated?

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Health care reform, as passed earlier this year, changes many things about health care in the United States.  It allows some people, particularly those with preexisting conditions, better access to health care insurance, and, thus, presumably health care.  It requires everyone to be insured or to pay a penalty and it allows individuals and small businesses better access to affordable health insurance.

While all of these things may lead more Americans to have health insurance and seek medical care, this legislation alone will not result in better medical outcomes for all patients.

The most important part of good medical outcomes, or better health care, comes from the individual doctors, nurses, hospitals and other entities providing the care.  If a doctor fails to diagnose a heart attack in a timely way or a hospital makes a surgical error, there is no amount of health care reform that will make the outcome better for that individual patient.

Thus, while the new health care legislation allows more people to access the system, we must remain vigilant about the quality of care that they are accessing and ensure that doctors, nurses, hospitals and others who commit medical malpractice and endanger the lives of others are held accountable.

Questions about Health Care, contact the medical malpractice law firm Ostroff Injury Law.

Should Tort Reform be Part of Health Care Reform?

Friday, May 28th, 2010

Yesterday, Pat Toomey, Republican candidate for Senate, spoke at the Heritage Medical Group in Camp Hill about his health care reform ideas.  Toomey has claimed that healthcare is among the most important issues facing Americans and he has ideas about how to fix it that are significantly different that the health care reform legislation passed by Congress earlier this year.

Tort reform is part of what needs to be significantly changed, according to Mr. Toomey.  On his website, Toomey claims that “runaway lawsuits” are at least partly responsible for high medical costs and for doctors in some specialties leaving Pennsylvania. 

It is the battle cry often sounded by those who favor tort reform, but are these arguments valid? 

The number of Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawsuits and payouts on Pennsylvania medical malpractice cases has fallen substantially since the 2002 medical malpractice lawsuit changes were enacted.  Thus, Mr. Toomey’s argument that runaway lawsuits are at least partly responsible for the increase in medical seems unfair.  Additionally, statistics from the American Medical Association show a per capita increase in treating physicians in Pennsylvania.

Medical malpractice lawsuits are meant to compensate victims who are entitled to compensation for the injuries they incurred due to medical negligence.  When any discussion of tort reform takes place, it is important to remember the victim and to think about the impact of the injury, and potential recovery, on the victim’s life – not just the sound bites provided by politicians of either party.