In October 2014, the Public Citizen issued its report Medical Malpractice Payments Were Made At Historic Low in 2013 Despite Slight Uptake. The Public Citizen represents consumer interests, patient interests, through lobbying, litigation and administration advocacy, research, public education, as well as affordable healthcare. It is based in Washington, DC.
The Public Citizen reported that a number of avoidable Adverse Events occurring hospitals throughout the United States has continued to increase. Adverse Events reference situations where patients die, are injured, or are not properly treated and do not arise from the original reason they were admitted to the hospital. Despite the rise in Adverse Events, the rates for liability insurance are declining for the medical profession.
The tort reform alarmist rhetoric surrounding the constitutional rights of injured patients continues to erode. Tort reformists, bolstered by insurance lobbyist representatives, have repeatedly urged tort reform citing, among reasons, the rates for liability insurance. While the Adverse Events continue to increase, the tort reformists continue to advocate for Federal legislation to cap medical malpractice awards to limit the rights of severely injured victims of poor or careless medical care.
Meanwhile, insurance companies have reaped enormous profits in recent years. The Public Citizen report, citing the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, noted that the fourth largest malpractice insurance carrier posed the profit margins of 91% in 2011, 86% in 2012, and 64.7% in 2013. In other words, whatever effect tort reform has had on the legal system, it clearly has continued to increase insurance company profits at the expense of severely injured victims and, particularly, severely injured children.
Public Citizen has called upon the American Medical Association and other leaders to eradicate avoidable Adverse Events in hospitals as they continue the pursuit of laws to limit liability, often funded by multi-billion dollar insurance companies. The Public Citizen has called upon the American Medical Association to recognize 98% to 99% of Adverse Events do not result in medical malpractice liability payments.
If you or a member of your family have been harmed by an Adverse Event, medical carelessness or medical malpractice, contact Patberg Law Firm at 1-800-471-6880 or complete our case form.