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Health Courts Would Curb 'Staggering Waste,' Attorney Says

Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, October 18, 2012

There is widespread public acceptance of the proposal: Of 1,000 registered voters, 66% supported the idea of creating health courts to decide medical claims, according to a nationwide poll in April by Clarus Research Group.

At least 75% believed that lawsuits and legal fees are a major cause of high medical insurance rates. Another 68% said "plenty of good doctors are leaving the practice of medicine because of the number of lawsuits and cost of liability insurance."

Despite the Obama and Romney endorsements, Howard says, the issue of health courts has not been discussed in the debates by either the president or his challenger, and that is not surprising, since the "big picture" issues of Medicare costs and health insurance are so dominant.  

Under the Common Good plan, health court judges would be dedicated full-time to resolving health care disputes, he says.  "So instead of (a litigant) going to a general trial court that would take five years to settle, [he or she] would go to an administrative court, like a workers' administration tribunal, and it would be much quicker, " he says.  A lot of cases would be resolved long before trial, Howard adds.

"A whole standard from the health care courts would create a predictable string of jurisprudence based on standards of medical practice" and further reduce time-consuming litigation, Howard says. There is precedence for judicial specialization. There are currently administrative courts that address taxation, immigration decisions, and child custody.

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9 comments on "Health Courts Would Curb 'Staggering Waste,' Attorney Says"


Marcos A. Vargas, MSHA, PA-C (7/5/2013 at 1:32 PM)
Mr. Tyco Brade post is erroneous & nonfactual or non evidence-based. Why? because the literature (surveys,research, analyses) allways point to the fact that defensive medicne is practiced by over 75% (up to 97%)of physicians in our country. And those are the facts and not skewed opinions.But then again most people don't fact check their informational sources.

Thomas Cox (12/1/2012 at 1:12 PM)
Virginia has had the strictest medical malpractice tort reform in the country since 1976 and it has helped hold malpractice premiums down, but health care costs in Virginia have increased at the same rate as everywhere else in the country. I am not against tort reform that makes for a quicker, fairer, and less expensive process, but don't look to tort reform to reduce the cost of health care. The evidence of the real world does not support this theory.

Michele (10/23/2012 at 9:11 AM)
There have been NO reductions in healthcare costs in states that have enacted tort reform. As a matter of fact, Texas has the most dilligent tort reform and they have the second highest healthcare costs in the nation according to CMS. Why don't individuals that want national tort reform respond to this?? Where is the proof????