Healthcare costs continue to rise due to the practice of “defensive medicine”, where doctors are ordering unnecessary tests and procedures as a way to protect themselves from liability. But it is not just the cost of healthcare that is affected by medical liability costs – healthcare quality is also impacted. The availability of some higher-risk medical specialties, such as OB-GYN physicians, is becoming scarce because of high insurance premiums resulting from lawsuits.
Various states have passed reforms modeled after California’s Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA), which placed a $250,000 cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits, and in 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Protecting Access to Care Act. These efforts reduce excessive costs incurred by litigating baseless lawsuits and practicing defensive medicine. In addition, many states have successfully lowered their medical costs and increased the availability of care by passing other medical liability reforms. ILR promotes the continued passing of meaningful medical liability reform to improve America’s healthcare system and ensure the best quality of care possible.