This represents another misguided effort by the health care industry to pin its many problems on medical negligence claims.
Chicago, Illinois (PRWEB) November 27, 2010
A recently released Northwestern medicine school study wrongly tries to blame the state’s medical liability environment for driving new physicians to practice elsewhere, Illinois medical malpractice lawyer Patrick A. Salvi says.
According to a story on the Feinberg School of Medicine website, the study found that half of all graduating Illinois medical students leave the state to practice, a trend that could soon lead to a shortage of doctors within the state, especially in rural areas.
One of the study’s authors cites Illinois’ “toxic” medical malpractice environment as a reason, citing the Illinois Supreme Court’s ruling last February in Lebron v. Gottlieb Memorial Hospital that struck down a state law that had placed a cap on non-economic damages in medical negligence lawsuits.
The Illinois Hospital Association and Illinois State Medical Society partnered with the medicine school to conduct the study.
“This represents another misguided effort by the health care industry to pin its many problems on medical negligence claims,” says Salvi of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., a leading Illinois medical malpractice law firm with offices in Chicago and Waukegan.
For years, the health care industry has pushed for tort reform by arguing that medical negligence litigation drives up doctors’ malpractice insurance premiums, which in turn causes doctors to flee the profession or set up shop in states with strict tort reform laws.
“The reality is that physician numbers have actually increased throughout the U.S. in recent years,” Salvi says. “There also appears to be no link whatsoever between physician numbers and tort reform measures, such as caps on damages for pain and suffering.”
In a February 2010 report, the American Association for Justice cites the American Medical Association’s own data to state that physician numbers in the U.S. rose to 954,244 in 2008, or nearly 13,000 more than the year before.
The same report states that the number of physicians per 100,000 residents was 21 percent higher in states without caps on medical liability damages than in states with caps.
“There could be many reasons to explain an impending physician shortage in Illinois, including a general population shift, so it’s utterly wrong to say it’s solely because of medical malpractice claims,” Salvi says. “The fact is that medical negligence litigation comprises a very small fraction of costs within the health care industry, and those costs would not have been accrued if a physician had not made a terrible mistake that led to the injury or death of a patient.”
About Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C.
Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. is a leading Illinois personal injury law firm with offices in Chicago and Waukegan. The firm focuses on medical malpractice, personal injury and wrongful death cases, including car and truck accidents, airplane and train accidents, construction injuries, faulty products, birth injuries, brain injuries, unsafe properties and animal attacks. The firm’s success in personal injury, accident and wrongful death cases includes more than 160 multi-million dollar verdicts or settlements. A number of these settlements and verdicts are among the largest of their kind in the state of Illinois. To learn more about Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., call (847) 249-1227 or use the firm’s online form.
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