This was the best talk at the ACS Conference so far. Given by Richard E. Anderson, MD, FACP, who is the Medical Director of The Doctors Company, a medical malpractice insurer. He did much to dispell the highly inflammatory finding of the IOM’s study that found 98,000 patient deaths per year secondary to physician negligence. The study, done at Harvard, is laden with flaws and the conclusions are ^workspace.dictionary (“fallacious”)^.
First that number is extrapolated from only 150 deaths out of 31,000 cases. Second the medical reviewers had only a 10% ^workspace.dictionary (“concordance”)^ rate. Think about that for a moment. That means that only 10% of the time could both of the reviewers agree about what constituted an adverse outcome.
He went on to demonstrate that tort reform works to reduce medical malpractice claims. This is amply evident in comparing California’s rates with the rest of the country. He also showed that ineffective tort reform, as is evident in Texas, is worse than none at all. Conclusion is that we need national effective tort reform. Otherwise what will happen is infinite jury awards will result in infinite insurance rates and decreased access to healthcare.
I may not be expressing all the points that Dr. Anderson made but he was very clear and complete in his answers.