Sunday, May 18, 2008

A Stronger Antidote than Tort Reform

Tennessee's medical doctors are faced with a clear choice; join in the lemming lock step to tort-reform Texas or try something different and more ethical:

with providers choking on malpractice costs and consumers demanding action against medical errors, a handful of prominent academic medical centers, like Johns Hopkins and Stanford, are trying a disarming approach.

By promptly disclosing medical errors and offering earnest apologies and fair compensation, they hope to restore integrity to dealings with patients, make it easier to learn from mistakes and dilute anger that often fuels lawsuits.

Malpractice lawyers say that what often transforms a reasonable patient into an indignant plaintiff is less an error than its concealment, and the victim’s concern that it will happen again.

Despite some projections that disclosure would prompt a flood of lawsuits, hospitals are reporting decreases in their caseloads and savings in legal costs.

So go to Texas for the wrong reasons or stay in Tennessee for the right ones. It's the practitioner's choice.

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