Firm News

Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Are Not the Cause of Spiraling Health Costs

By Burg Simpson

March 17, 2010  

Burg Simpson News Updates

Insurance companies argue that medical malpractice lawsuits are responsible for pushing up the cost of health care, forcing doctors in to adopting “defensive medicine” – a practice of ordering unnecessary tests and procedures for fear of being sued. In an effort to reduce costs, some politicians and commentators have advocated capping the amount a plaintiff can receive for pain suffering and other jury awards. However on closer inspection, the theory just does not “add-up”. According to a 2009 Congressional Budget Office report, medical malpractice insurance premiums and court verdicts account for less than two percent of overall health care expenditures. Medical malpractice lawsuits are not the root cause of the problem. Unfairly limiting jury awards and reducing malpractice liability will have serious consequences for public safety and restrict the ability of individuals to hold negligent healthcare professionals to account. Is that really what we want?

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