No. of Recommendations: 2
Government intervention. Period!

BHJ,

Don't forget the ambulance chasers, while you're at it.

...A 2003 report from the General Accounting Office found multiple reasons for [medical malpractice] rate increases, with medical malpractice lawsuits being the primary driver.[18] Despite noting multiple reasons for rate increases, the report goes on to state that the "GAO found that losses on medical malpractice claims-which make up the largest part of insurers’ costs-appear to be the primary driver of rate increases in the long run."

...In 2011, data pooled from the industry by the publication Medical Liability Monitor indicated that medical malpractice insurance rates had declined for four straight years. The decrease was seen in both states that had enacted tort reform and in states that had not, leading actuaries familiar with the data to suggest that patient safety and risk management campaigns had had a more significant effect...

The majority of the American public supports reforms to the malpractice system. However, surveys show that the majority of the American public also vastly underestimate the extent of medical errors...

Many doctors practice "defensive medicine" in order to avoid malpractice suits. This also drives many students away from entering the medical field.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_malpractice

We need both tort reform and also more universal acceptance and adherence to "best practices" - with staff training to strictly follow checklists, so that the number of medical errors can be reduced.

While I despise the Affordable Care Act, I would support a system like the more successful ones that have been implemented in Europe, with modest/limited universal care supplemented by private insurance, which could be purchased and sold across state lines (national underwriting).

OR, alternatively.... I really never understood why we couldn't just have created a "national public network" of public clinics where patients could get routine treatment upon payment of a flat "per-visit" fee. Couple that with a national network of public hospitals where patients can get those services only a hospital can provide, with payment of a flat "per admission" fee. If fees aren't paid, then the bill could be sent over to the IRS to add to the tax obligation (since they are going to be involved in the ACA, anyway).

The public hospitals could limit their services to non-discretionary surgery, emergency care and such, with the big-ticket or extraordinary items like transplants and fancy plastic surgery limited to the non-public hospitals, and private supplemental insurance covering those costs or fancier treatments that aren't on the public hospitals' "menu of services provided."

In other words, if we can have a national network of military bases and a national network of military hospitals, why couldn't we just expand the network of public health facilities so that anyone could (within a reasonable amount of travel) get to a public clinic, with at least one public hospital located in every state.

For those who live in remote areas, special subsidies could be provided either for public coverage of the costs of private care (on a fee schedule) and/or officially approved transportation reimbursement could be arranged, with the clinic providing a "voucher" or stamp verifying that the patient's residence (or hotel/place of temporary visitation) is "X" number of miles from the closest clinic.

That way, the government could control their own assets (clinics/hospitals) any way they see fit (since they love to meddle so much), and all the private clinics and hospitals could be subject to the most stringent regulators of all: private customers/patients and plaintiff's attorneys.

</end of poorly organized, unplanned and probably incoherent rant>
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