Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Novel Approach to Medical Liability Reform, No-Fault Liability

I have written multiple articles on Medical Liability and its reform.  Another idea has been proposed, institution of a no-fault liability system. There is currently a proposal in the Florida legislature to create what they have named, a Patients’ Compensation System.  In this system, an injured patient would file a claim with the help of a patient advocate, a medical review department would research and review the claim, a fee schedule would be used to determine and recommend an amount for economic and non-economic damages.1  If there was a dispute, a judge would determine whether law was appropriately applied. 

The proposed system would hypothetically be faster and also much cheaper than the current system.2  It is also believed that by removing blame from the equation, physicians will be less likely to practice defensive medicine, which in turn would help lower cost of medical care by billions.  “If an effective no-fault PCS would be enacted, and assuming a slow change in physicians' defensive medicine behavior, first year savings for payors could be $1.5 billion; that number may grow to annual savings exceeding $16 billion when physicians have reduced their defensive medicine practices significantly.” 3 

Money that physicians currently pay for malpractice premiums would go towards funding the Patients’ Compensation System.

I think this is a very interesting system to help curb liability and health care costs, and more importantly, compensate injured patients faster.  I will be keeping a close watch on how this develops.



1.      Guglielmo, WJ. Movement to A No-Fault Liability System.  Medscape. September 13, 2012.  http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/770384.  Accessed September 18, 2012.

2.      Latner, AW.  Florida Considers patient Compensation System.. The Clinical Advisor. February 21, 2012. http://www.clinicaladvisor.com/florida-considers-patient-compensation-system/article/228551/ Accessed September 18, 2012.

3.      Bioscience Valuation. The economics of defensive medicine and no-fault patients' compensation systems: Florida. July 6, 2012. http://www.patientsforfaircompensation.org/media/21160/bioscience-fl.pdf Accessed September 18, 2012.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Are Health Care Workers Ethically Obligated to Receive Influenza Vaccinations?

I recently wrote a post about a new law in Texas requiring health care facilities to require their employees to obtain vaccinations, including the influenza vaccination. The National Vaccine Advisory Committee also announced that health care facilities should consider requiring their employees to receive influenza vaccinations. 
I then came across a very interesting perspective.  An ethicist recently wrote an article about this topic, proposing that health care workers are ethically obligated to get the influenza vaccination.  I agree with his view point.  Influenza is a very communicable, but preventable disease.  Health care providers are susceptible to obtaining the virus from their patients, and passing it on to other patients.  By nature, we are also tempted, even feel obligated to work when ill (and still infectious).  We take an oath to do no harm to our patients, and one of the easiest ways to do so is to obtain vaccinations for communicable diseases.
A link to the article can be found here:
Why Hospital Workers Should be Forced to Get Flu Shots,