Medical Malpractice: A Framework for Action.
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC HUMAN RESOURCES DIV
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The purpose of this report, the final one in a series of five, is to suggest actions that appear to GAO to be appropriate beginnings to address medical malpractice problems. Overall, GAOs work showed that there is no clear answer as to the causes of the increases in the cost of medical malpractice insurance. And there is no specific action that GAO could identify that would guarantee that insurance rates will not continue to increase. But there are actions all affected parties could take that may have some promise of reducing the cost of insurance. These actions include reducing the incidence of medical malpractice by assuring that physicians are held accountable by their peers and others for the manner in which they practice medicine improving efficiency, predictability, and equity in the way medical malpractice claims are resolved by determining appropriate changes in state tort laws or developing viable alternatives to the tort system determining the extent to which regulatory agencies have and use information to make decisions about rates and solvency and better educating patients as to what their expectations should be from the health care system. Those taking such actions, particularly concerning the tort system, must consider the consequences of these actions on the injured. Policymakers must give serious consideration to the inherent trade-offs any solution will have since most potential solutions to the problems are at the expense of one or more of the affected parties.
- Medicine and Medical Research
- Economics and Cost Analysis