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Medical malpractice suits and doctors' costs are down

The incoming administration has spoken about many changes that it plans to undertake. One of those is purportedly changing the Affordable Care Act and working to reduce the amounts that are awarded in medical malpractice suits. While it remains to be seen what, if any, changes will eventually be implemented, New York doctors and patients would likely benefit if overall health care costs could be reduced.

A recent report was released highlighting five areas that appear to show that costs for physicians have already started to come down. The first of which purportedly states that the costs for malpractice insurance has decreased to its lowest levels in 15 years. The second stated that the number of malpractice claims has also dropped.

The third point stated that approximately 3 percent of total health care spending went towards malpractice cases; however that still turns out to equal an estimated $100 billion. According to the report, more than 30 states already have set limits on the amounts that can be awarded for malpractice suits. The last point concerned the government's idea to set standards of care in an effort to help eliminate the possibility of a lawsuit. However, this idea would purportedly only reduce these claims by around 15 percent.

According to this one report, total costs to care providers has reportedly come down, which is good for both doctors and patients in the long run. However, not every medical malpractice case can be eliminated, as not every patient will interpret his or her care in the same way a physician will, especially if the outcome was not what was expected. New York care providers who find themselves facing a lawsuit based on allegations of malpractice do have the right to obtain the counsel of an attorney who is experienced in defending against these types of lawsuits. 

Source: beckersspine.com, "5 key notes on medical malpractice", Laura Dyrda |, Jan. 4, 2017

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