Five Myths About Medical Negligence, is one in a series of reports from the American Association for Justice on the errors and faults behind the most commonly used talking points of health care reform opponents.
The first myth is that there are too many “frivolous” malpractice lawsuits. The fact is that there is an epidemic of medical negligence, not lawsuits. Only one in eight people injured by medical negligence ever file a lawsuit. Also civil findings have declined eight percent over the past decade. A 2006 Harvard study found that 97 percent of claims were meritorious stating that “portraits of a malpractice system that is stricken with frivolous litigation are overblown.”
The second myth is that malpractice claims drive up health care costs. However reports show that compensating victims of medical negligence was just 0.3% of health care costs.
Supposedly doctors are fleeing due to medical negligence, yet the number of physicians is growing faster than the population. Additionally, research has found that there is little correlation between medical malpractice claims and doctors’ premiums. An AAJ report has found that malpractice insures have earnings higher than 99% of Fortune 500 companies.
Finally, tort reform will not lower insurance rates. Even the most ardent tort reformers know this. To read more about the myths, please visit the AAJ’s website.