As of late there has been a colossal debate over medical malpractice law. Gov. Andrew M. Cumo and his Medicaid Redesign Team came up with Proposal Number 131 to impose a cap of $250,000 on noneconomic damages for victims of medical malpractice and create an indemnity fund for neurologically damaged infants, among other things. But are injured people the ones who should be penalized?
What about fixing the medical system so the possibility of injury from malpractice is decreased in the first place? Seemingly, this would make all sides better off. One Columbia-Presbyterian study by three medical doctors was done with the goal of finding a comprehensive obstetric patient safety program to reduce compensation payments and sentinel adverse events. Data was gathered from 2003 through 2009 and the results are simply astounding. “Average yearly compensation payments decreased from $27,591,610 between 2003-2006 to $2,550,135 between 2007-2009, sentinel events decreased from 5 in 2000 to none in 2008 and 2009. Instituting a comprehensive obstetric patient safety program decreased compensation payments and sentinel events resulting in immediate and significant savings.” Yes, that is about $25 million. Here is the report:
The issues that this study covers are very real. Bronx-Lebanon Obstetricians in the South Bronx recently received a warning from their insurance company that their practice may be cut off from insurance coverage, due to their subpar “method of practice” and “practice environment”.