Medical Liability Reform Debate


by Holly Hayes

Medical liability reform has not been an area of focus in the health reform debate since September when President Obama directed the Department of Health and Human Services to provide $25 million for medical liability reform and patient safety planning grants. A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report, also mentioned on Disputing (post available here) may reinvigorate the medical liability reform debate. Details on this debate and the effect of the CBO report is provided at American Medical News.

The CBO report estimates that implementing a nationwide package of tort reform proposals would result in reductions of health care spending of about 0.5 percent or about $11 billion in 2009. This figure represents a reduction of 0.2 percent from lower medical liability premiums and a 0.3 percent reduction from less utilization of health care services.

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Holly Hayes is a mediator at Karl Bayer, Dispute Resolution Expert where she focuses on mediation of health care disputes. Holly holds a B.A. from Southern Methodist University and a Masters in Health Administration from Duke University. She can be reached at: holly@karlbayer.com.

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