Last week the Department of Health and Human Services announced millions of dollars in grants to states to address medical malpractice. These grants will go to state health departments, universities, and medical centers for demonstration projects designed to reduce injuries, decrease the numbers of lawsuits, improve doctor/patient communication, and lower liability insurance premiums.
These funds were approved after recent studies show that despite calls of a lawsuit crisis and insurance crisis – the real issue is way too much medical malpractice exists causing catastrophic injuries. Preventable medical negligence may occur because of untrained/unsupervised residents making prescription errors. It may occur when a small handful of doctors act negligently and states fail to adequately discipline them. Negligence may occur when communication fails between hospital staff.
Medical negligence does not occur as the result of lawyers bringing lawsuits.
Much of the recently approved grant money will go toward programs designed to improve patient safety such as improving communication. However, monies will also go towards programs focused on early disclosure and compensation. Although prompt attention to malpractice claims can be beneficial, models emphasizing early disclosure and settlement of cases often fail to address the root cause of malpractice and provide inadequate compensation to the victims of gross negligence.
As New Mexico personal injury attorneys concerned about medical negligence, we are dedicated to helping those victims of catastrophic medical malpractice obtain the compensation they deserve. We are hopeful that these grants will provide reforms where necessary – i.e. prevent negligence from occurring in the first place.