Sunday, November 22, 2009

BS Check!

The State of Tennessee has instituted several tort reforms in the area of medmal. The two big ones are that plaintiff attorneys must file a pre-suit notice and the have a certificate of good faith from a physician that attestst that there was a possible deviation of the standard of care (BS check!). Tennessee saw a huge rush of suits filed before the law went into effect. Since the law has been effect however, medmal suit filings have dropped 65%. John Day at Dayontorts (http://www.dayontorts.com/medical-negligence-new-medical-malpractice-case-filing-statistics.html) has a great piece on it. In my little group of docs, most of carry malpractice insurance because we want patients who are harmed because we screw up to be taken care of. What we dont want is to be dragged into court because we are seen as a cash cow for some plaintiff and their attorney who figure that all they have to do is be a big enough pain in the neck to get some money. I think it will be interesting to see what the effects are of these reforms. Will the number of judgements against physicians be the same? What will be the total defense costs? I hope that injured patients get what they deserve and frivoulous filing attorneys get what they deserve.

2 comments:

SeaSpray said...

Great post!

"medmal suit filings have dropped 65%"

65% is high! If I am understanding this correctly ..then it would seem to be a success and perhaps this is the kind of thing our government should be looking at ..although I did hear a rumor that they were in bed with the lawyers against tort reform. Didn't they strike a deal behind nontransparent closed doors?

Correct me if I am wrong.

PlanetaryGear said...

That number is including the huge number of filings that were rushed in to get in before the new law passed, obviously because they realized they would get tossed out by the new rules. Further down they say without that it looks more like 32% or better. Which is still highly significant. Sounds like an excellent way to reduce the most stupid of the abuse without reducing a persons access to redress if there really were something wrong.

Now why can't we have something like that in all those 2500 pages in washington right now? Oh yea, cause there is nothing there that even vaguely resembles reform...