Mike Stinson, PIAA’s vice president of government affairs, says the House bill includes reforms that have “proven successful” at the state level.
The ACP sees the bill as a first step in addressing malpractice and defensive medicine, says Shari Erickson, ACP’s vice president of governmental affairs and medical practice. ACP has advocated a multi-pronged approach to malpractice reform, including calling for special medical courts to hear such cases without juries, she notes.
But not everyone thinks the House bill will have long-term benefits.
Roberts, who also maintains a primary care practice, says factors other than malpractice concerns contribute to the proliferation of testing. Often, patients themselves insist on more tests than may be medically necessary for their peace of mind, he explains. “People are rarely second guessed for doing something; we’re second guessed for not doing something,” he says.
Richard Boothman, JD, executive director of patient relations and clinical risk and chief risk officer with Michigan Medicine, has defended the medical center in malpractice cases.
“This approach, the tort reform approach, is the equivalent of treating a patient with pneumonia purely with aspirin to lower the temperature but not getting to the root cause,” says Boothman. “Historically, medicine has not been good at self-policing. In many places, the only way to hold anyone accountable is through the courtroom,” he says.
John Frank is a contributing author. Do you think the bill will help physicians? Tell us at [email protected].