Fight Against Frivolous Medical Malpractice Suits Needed

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Medical Malpractice Suits

"Though the medical tort system is designed to deter unsafe practices and to make negligently injured patients whole,it does neither. Nor does it prevent a high frequency of frivolous lawsuits," Jeffrey Segal, a neurosurgeon and founder and CEO of Medical Justice Services, and Michael Sacopulos, general counsel for the organization, write in a Wall Street Journalopinion piece.

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Segal and Sacopulos write that they founded Medical Justice "to complement tort reform and to head off frivolous lawsuits,"adding that the membership-based organization "pays the bills andprovides the services to file counter suits against all proponents of meritless lawsuits" by employing "two principal components."

Underthe first, the organization reviews "the quality of so-called expert witness testimony," and its "second tool is a patient-physician contract" that "states that in a legitimate dispute, both sides will utilize only those experts" who belong to medical specialty societies and who agree to abide by the societies' codes of ethics, Segal and Sacopulos say.

The authors continue that their approach works, noting five years of data show that "Medical Justice plan members are sued ata rate of under just 2% a year," while the "average doctor is sued at a rate of 8%-12% per year" (Segal/Sacopulos, Wall Street Journal, 7/12).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire KaiserDaily Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. 2007Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

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