Discussion Board – Module 2

Discussion Board – Module 2

Research, summarize and compare the medical malpractice laws of Pennsylvania (summary linked below) with two other states of your choosing.

http://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/medical-malpractice/laws-pennsylvania.htmlLinks to an external site.

Answer the following:

  1. Where do you expect medical malpractice premiums to be lowest, based on the malpractice laws? Why?
  2. Which state presents the most beneficial pathway for a wronged consumer to achieve a monetary award? Why?
  3. Agree or disagree with the following statement: States should pass laws that limit malpractice recovery as a way to help healthcare facilities avoid full responsibility for their actions and ensure their long-term vitality in the marketplace.

Reply to at least two of your classmates (appx. 100 words).

First classmate Discussion.

Medical Malpractice laws in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and California are similar but there are a few differences. The statue of limitations for NJ is 2 years, 7 years in PA (2 years for discovery) and for CA it is three years (1 year for discovery) CA statute of limitations is actually tighter because of this and includes reasonable diligence in discovering the malpractice. There are exceptions in each state especially when it comes to minors and foreign objects left in a patient after surgery.

Each state also has damage caps: $250,000 non-economic for CA, punitive charges of the greater of $350,000 or 5 times compensatory damages in NJ (total of $600,000 except for past and future medical bills), and punitive charges twice actual damages with constitutional prohibition on caps of economic damages in PA. NJ and PA have modified comparative negligence compared to CA’s pure comparative negligence which means that CA has a set percentage of fault in which the plaintiff can collect from the defendant without the case being dismissed. CA also limits attorney fees on a contingency basis setting a sliding scale limit based on the amount being charged in the medical malpractice case.

New Jersey is a very patient-friendly state when it comes to medical malpractice statutes. Minus the reputation of high taxes in NJ, it would have the highest premiums on malpractice insurance due to the patient bias that is generally exhibited by the laws. NJ and PA have no caps to economic and non-economic damages but only caps to punitive damages. NJ and PA are neck and neck when it comes to receiving a monetary benefit in a successful case.

There should be some laws that limit malpractice recovery. This does not mean that healthcare facilities should be able to avoid full responsibility for a malpractice suit but there are cases in which a patient will damage themselves more knowingly and sometimes unknowingly for bigger payouts. Most cases are settled out of court and most are not punitive cases. The health facilities are not the enemy in these cases, but patients also need to be protected to ensure high quality of care and liability on both sides of the coin.

 

Second classmate Discussion.

Where do you expect medical malpractice premiums to be lowest, based on the malpractice laws? Why?

I am comparing Philadelphia, New York, and California. Among the three states, the financial premium appears to be lowest in California because the non-economic damages do not increase over time. California’s Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act of 1975 (“MICRA”) law includes “a proven and effective $250,000 hard cap on non-economic damages” (BRG). But the payout in New York may be lower due to higher rates of contingency fees for lawyers. Lawyers in New York do not charge clients by the hour. Instead, clients pay fees only if they win their cases.

  1. Which state presents the most beneficial pathway for a wronged consumer to achieve a monetary award? Why?

The most beneficial pathway exists in Pennsylvania, particularly in Philadelphia, because the city has an extended statute of limitations called the discovery rule. This rule allows people more time to file a personal injury action to find merit for the case. The statute of limitations will begin to run at the time the plaintiff knows or should have known that he or she has an injury caused by another’s conduct.

For example, a nurse or surgeon may leave some tools inside a patient’s body after the operation, and the patient may notice or feel that pain later. After the patient discovers that the doctor left some objects within his or her body, the statute of limitations clicks.

  1. Agree or disagree with the following statement: States should pass laws that limit malpractice recovery as a way to help healthcare facilities avoid full responsibility for their actions and ensure their long-term vitality in the marketplace.

I think it is good to have some laws that limit the amount of money a medical malpractice plaintiff can receive after he or she has filed a lawsuit. However, it depends on the case. Sometimes the negligence may come from both the physician and the patient, and the hospital should not be solely liable. Of course, most states cover the pain and suffer, and few states cover the umbrella cap, which covers all damages including the long-term disability.

But when we see the situation of the health care industry, physicians are under a lot of pressure from all directions including the pressure from Medicare and the increase of liability insurance. Therefore, revising current laws or passing new ones that relieve the pressures and scrutiny that doctors face is necessary to ensure long-term vitality in the marketplace.

Last Updated on September 25, 2018 by EssayPro