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Georgia Doctors Endorse Plan to Replace Medical Malpractice System
Physicians say proposal would reduce health care costs.
ATLANTA — Georgia doctors, hungry for new solutions to bring down the cost of healthcare, overwhelmingly endorse a proposal by Patients for Fair Compensation to replace the state’s medical liability system with one patterned legally after workers compensation.
In a statewide survey of Georgia physicians, 96 percent of doctors agreed that a Patients’ Compensation System would reduce healthcare costs. And 95% of the doctors said they were likely to support such legislation if the General Assembly pursued it in 2012.
A Patients’ Compensation System would be a no-fault system in which a patient who had been medically harmed could file a claim for review by a panel. If that panel deemed “avoidable harm” occurred, the claim would be forwarded to a Compensation Board to award compensation.
This would create a predictable model where patients would know their cases would be heard. Doctors would know they wouldn’t be hauled into court for frivolous reasons. The system would provide more injured patients compensation. They would receive predictable settlements in much faster time.
The recent survey of 330 Georgia doctors was conducted for Patients for Fair Compensation by Oppenheim Research of Tallahassee. It has an error rate of plus or minus 5.5 percent.
When asked if a PCS were adopted into law, 90 percent of doctors surveyed agreed they would be able to live without fear of litigation, without fear of admitting mistakes and result in improved quality of care and patient safety. And 96 percent of the doctors surveyed said it would reduce healthcare costs by reducing the practice of defensive medicine – or when physicians order unnecessary tests and procedures to keep from being sued.
“Hands down, doctors just love the idea of moving to a no-fault, predictable model that will make the practice of medicine more stable for everyone,” said Richard L. Jackson, chairman of Patients for Fair Compensation. “When Georgia’s high court struck down caps, we had to find another route to a rational medical tort system that brought healthcare costs in line.”
For more information about the survey, download a PDF from PatientsForFairCompensation.org.
To learn more information about Patients for Fair Compensation and the Patients’ Compensation System policy solution, visit PatientsForFairCompensation.org.
About Patients for Fair Compensation
Patients for Fair Compensation is a 501(c)4 organization dedicated to educating and proposing policy solutions to ensure access to real justice for injured patients by eliminating up to $650 billion per year nationally of unnecessary costs due to defensive medicine.