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Catastrophic Malpractice Payouts Not the Cause Of Rising Health Care Costs

Posted on May 20, 2013

In some circles, catastrophic malpractice payouts and “frivolous” lawsuits are to blame for out-of-control medical costs that plague the United States. In their minds, “fixing” the tort system will fix the medical system.

While blaming huge awards and settlements for high medical costs makes for good sound bites and catchy headlines, the medical malpractice attorneys at Farah & Farah in Jacksonville point to a recent study released by Johns Hopkins Medical School that claims that that assertion is just plain wrong.

Researchers reviewed malpractice claims from 2004 to 2010 and found that payouts of over $1 million were responsible for $1.4 billion dollars — far less than one percent of total medical expenditures.

“The notion that frivolous lawsuits are routinely resulting in $100 million payouts is not true,” stated Dr. Marty Makaray, the lead author of the study. He went on to say that it is not malpractice lawsuits that are driving up the cost of medicine, but the perceived fear of them that might be one of the driving forces behind rising costs.

The most common allegations that led to large catastrophic payouts were diagnosis-related, obstetrics-related and surgery-related.

He suggests that rather than seeking legal reform and malpractice caps, the focus should be aimed towards reducing defensive medical practices. He says that the study findings also suggest that more research needs be done to see what physicians can do to prevent the errors that lead to catastrophic payouts — something that would result in a win/win for patient safety and for curbing medical costs.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to medical malpractice, it is important that you contact the law firm of Farah & Farah for a free review of your case. The knowledgeable and experienced legal representation we can provide is essential to ensure you are fairly compensated for damages. Contact us so we can review your case today. Call us at (800) 533-3555 or contact us online today to set up your consultation.