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A no-fault insurance system for medical malpractice claims?

No-fault insurance, as it is for cars and worker's compensation, basically means that there is no investigation or trial to determine who was at fault for the accident or injury. Everyone is covered by their insurance carrier and they recover against their insurance carrier. It is good for companies (or hospitals and doctors) because it reduces litigation costs and it is good for drivers (or patients) because it removes the uncertainty of litigation and speeds up compensation. Several states are debating the merits of developing a no-fault system for medical malpractice.

One person that supports a switch to this style of system is a former president (ret.) of the Hospital Corporation of America. He argues that patients could bring their claims to a panel of health care experts and an administrative judge who could quickly render a decision. This would speed up the process for patients and reduce uncertainty for doctors and hospitals.

It would also eliminate the confrontational nature that can develop between patients and doctors, enabling both parties to focus on healing rather than minimizing risk. Additionally, since medical malpractice cases are expensive and can take years to resolve ? many patients with legitimate but not catastrophic or expensive injuries go without compensation. This system would enable everyone who is injured to get compensated.

Reportedly, Georgia, Montana, Florida and Tennessee are all debating the merits of this system. It is possible that there could be a few state bills introduced for debate within the next few months or years. The idea is to mimic other countries that take a less adversarial approach to resolve disputes. That, by working together, patients, doctors and hospitals can reduce costs and errors for an overall improvement to quality of life and care.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury due to doctor or hospital error then you may have a claim for medical malpractice. You may want to speak to a lawyer to explore your rights and possibilities. Depending on your injuries, you can have major medical expenses for years down the road. You may need this money to care for your family and yourself.

Source: Fierce Health Finance, "Medical malpractice: Former HCA chief proposes alternative to current system," Ron Shinkman, Feb. 8, 2016

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