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Medical Malpractice Reform: Fair and Just Compensation for All

April 9, 1994
By Mary E. Spear

In this summary, Mary Spear writes that she is concerned about the adverse impact of tort laws on our medical practices and health care costs, has developed this issue brief to explore the impact of the current legal system on America’s health care and

stethoscope and insurance docs

In this summary, Mary Spear writes that she is concerned about the adverse impact of tort laws on our medical practices and health care costs, has developed this issue brief to explore the impact of the current legal system on America’s health care and discuss ways in which the two systems can work together to provide fair and just compensation for all.

The Council for Affordable Health Insurance advocates a strong, accessible justice system, in which injured persons can recover reasonable compensation for their damages. However, the American legal system falls short of this objective, often awarding inequitable unwarranted judgments to some people, and failing to compensate others. The Council for Affordable Health Insurance believes reform of the legal system is necessary.

Therefore, the Council for Affordable Health Insurance recommends the following proposals:

1. Elimination of the joint and several liability rule.

2. Reform of the collateral source evidentiary rule and increased availability of subrogation.

3. Limitation of liability for “Good Samaritan” charitable care.

4. Reform of the award and payment of punitive and noneconomic damage awards.

5. Encouragement of alternative dispute resolution procedures (“ADR”).

6. Establishment of practice protocols to serve as safe harbors for health professionals.

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