It appears safe to say that healthcare reform is here to stay. The breadth of what HCR does for our country is far reaching and in some way will touch every citizen. Visit our HCR pages to learn more about how HCR will impact you or your business or sign up for VAST’s Health Care Reform Navigation System™. Today’s focus will be how Healthcare Reform impacts physicians, hospitals and allied health professional’s Medical Professional Liability (Medical Malpractice) policies.
Medical Malpractice impacts our country’s healthcare spending, but is a drop in the bucket when compared to the total dollars spent. For example:
- According to the Congressional Budget Office, if medical professional liability costs (insurance premiums, settlements, awards and administrative costs) were reduced by 10% it would reduce national health expenditures by 0.2%.
- At least 38 states have some form of tort reform in place
- Most states have an “Apology Law” in place
How could Healthcare Reform potentially Impact the Medical Malpractice industry for physicians, hospitals, and allied health professions? Examples and projections of healthcare trends:
- Increased number of patients in the system (largely unhealthy)
- Primary care physician shortages
- Physician shortage in rural areas
- Increased utilization of allied health providers
- Consolidation of health systems
- Increased number of physicians employed by hospitals
- Increased compliance on hospitals and private practices
- Technology improvements
In some areas of the country, factors impacting Medical Professional Liability could be:
- Incentives for early treatment may reduce the number of bad outcomes
- Stronger coordination of care because of technology
- Increased wait time for patients
- Challenges in getting a primary care physician
- Challenges in getting in to see your physician’s
It has yet to be determined how Health Care Reform will impact the Medical Malpractice industry in the Upper Peninsula, Michigan, and nationally. Like any change, there will most likely be positive and negative impacts on the Medical Malpractice Industry. Only time will tell which way it will swing or whether it will stay in balance.