The National Physician Databank payments for physician errors has decreased steadily for over a decade, between the years 2001 and 2015, with D.C. ranking at 49 out of 51. If payments for physician errors are decreasing, does that mean physicians are twice as safe now as they were in 2001, or is the playing field tilted in the favor of physicians?
For almost as long as such data has been tracked, critics blamed the rising cost of healthcare on rising medical malpractice litigation, which was near its peak at the time. In an effort to overhaul medical malpractice litigation, members of Congress sought to limit injured patients’ ability to seek legal recourse, primarily through damage caps. Such caps are in place in nearly 30 states. However, healthcare costs only continued to rise, so the initial claim of a correlation between healthcare costs and malpractice lawsuits appears to have no legs to stand on.
While medical malpractice payments continued to fall, down by 28.8 % in 2013, healthcare costs rose by 58.3 % between 2003 and 2013.
There is more that can be said in defense of medical malpractice litigation, which can be upheld with hard facts. Litigation holds physicians and other medical professionals accountable, which serves as an impetus for systemic changes. For example, the misuse of anesthesiology was once a culprit in many fatalities, but a combination of litigation and bad press eventually led to reforms. The reforms subsequently decreased the frequency of anesthesiology-related deaths between the mid-1980s and 2005.
At The Law Offices of Dr. Michael M. Wilson M.D., J.D. & Associates, we handle a variety of medical malpractice and birth injury cases throughout the state of Maryland and Washington, D.C. Dr. Wilson has more than 30 years of legal experience, combined with the unique perspective his medical knowledge offers. He has obtained more than $100 million on behalf of his clients.
Call today for a free consultation at 202.223.4488.
Dr. Michael M. Wilson is an attorney and a physician who earned his undergraduate degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his legal and medical degrees from Georgetown University. He has focused in the area of medical malpractice for more than three decades and secured more than $100 million in settlements and verdicts on behalf of clients throughout the country. He is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and New York as well as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and the U.S. Supreme Court. He is listed in America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators.