Dr. Blackwell's BLOG

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Obama Pushing for Medical Malpractice Reform

Filed under: Health and Social Policy,Politics — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 23:21

View Image  Against strong opposition from the American Trial Lawyer’s Association, President Barack Obama announced today a plan to overhaul the way in which medical malpractice cases are decided in court. President Obama supports the appointment of neutral experts to sift malpractice facts from allegations through the creation of “health courts” that would be headed by medical professionals and experts rather than juries, judges, and attorneys. The American Hospital Association (AHA) has expressed a great deal of support for the measure, says  AHA President Richard Umbdenstock: “We are trying to offer this as a constructive approach, to see if we can generate some interest,” he said. Under this type of plan, patients who claim injury at the hands of medical professionals or institutions would take their case to a local panel of experts appointed by state authorities. The patient wouldn’t have to prove negligence, only that the provider failed to follow established guidelines for clinical practice. To put some evidence behind the idea, Obama has dedicated $25 million to test a range of alternatives to malpractice litigation. This is another great example of the strong leadership and intelligence of President Obama, who is doing what is right to make our healthcare system stronger for our patients as well as the backbone of the system–its nurses and physicians!

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