The Affordable Care Act: How Will Obamacare Affect Medical Malpractice?
Posted on behalf of Goldberg Finnegan, LLC on Sep 04, 2014 in Medical Malpractice
Since the 2010 enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), known commonly as Obamacare, physicians and other healthcare providers have lamented the possibility that the act will increase their exposure to medical malpractice suits.
Truthfully, the act does not take a particular stance on medical malpractice. It does, however, specify that it reins in waste, fraud and abuse, and that states will have more flexibility to propose and test tort reforms that address several criteria, including reducing health care errors, enhancing patient safety, encouraging efficient resolution of disputes1
Regardless, the healthcare community has expressed concern over the possibility that the ACAs provisions might open it up to an inordinate amount of medical malpractice suits. The American Medical Association (AMA) has drafted legislation to shield providers from these newly created claims.
The AMA's Standard of Care Protection Act proposes to block medical malpractice claimants from utilizing federal or state practice guidelines, quality measures, reimbursement criteria and similar factors to establish standard of care without expert testimony.2
Most medical malpractice actions require the use of expert testimony. The fact that the AMA and health care community are worried that reigning in waste, not being fraudulent and not fostering abuse may impact them negatively tells you one thing: their concern isn't for the patients.
Medical malpractice cases hold doctors, hospitals and nurses accountable when they fail to act reasonably. Any statutes or legislation that require the health care industry to better provide patient safety and curb abuse seems to us to be moves in the right direction.
The attorneys at Goldberg Finnegan are prepared to answer your questions about whether your medical malpractice claim is valid and how to file a claim. A personal injury lawyer from Goldberg Finnegan is ready to help you take the next step toward justice.
- HHS.gov, http://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/rights/law/index.html, 2012
- Congress.gov, Standard of Care Protection Act, https://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-bill/1473/cosponsors, 2014