House Judiciary Hearing Puts Medical Liability Reform Back in the Spotlight

January 20, 2011 | PR Newswire Association LLC

HCLA Testifies that Medical Lawsuit Abuse Threatens Patient Care

WASHINGTON, Jan. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --The Health Coalition on Liability and Access (HCLA) testified today before the Committee on the Judiciary of the U.S. House of Representatives in a hearing titled, "Medical Liability Reform - Cutting Costs, Spurring Investment, Creating Jobs." Stuart L. Weinstein, MD, a spokesperson for the HCLA, called on the Congress to "create a climate for patient centered care by reforming a medical liability system that continues to put everyone's health care at risk."

Today's hearing puts the spotlight back on fixing our nation's broken medical liability system, an issue that was left unresolved following last year's major health care overhaul. The House leadership has made addressing medical liability reform a priority in the 112th Congress.

"There is no question that medical lawsuit abuse is undermining both our healthcare system and the doctor-patient relationship. Medical liability has devolved from a system designed to protect patients rights and improve the quality of health care, to a system designed to reward personal injury lawyers," said Dr. Weinstein in prepared testimony.

On the subject of defensive medicine, Dr. Weinstein said it is "the antithesis of health care reform. It increases health care costs and has the potential to lessen the quality of care that we strive to provide our patients every day."

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that medical liability reform would result in costs savings to the federal budget of $54 billion over the next 10 years.

Stuart L. Weinstein, MD, is currently the Ponseti Chair and Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Iowa. He has been a practicing physician for more than 35 years, specializing in pediatric orthopaedic surgery. Dr. Weinstein is the past president of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the American Orthopaedic Association, and the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America.

For more details, visit The Health Coalition on Liability and Access is a national advocacy coalition representing physicians, hospitals, health care liability insurers, employers and health care providers and consumers. HCLA believes federal legislation is needed to bring fairness, timeliness and cost-efficiency to America's medical liability system.

SOURCE Health Coalition on Liability and Access