The past year has been an incredibly difficult time for the global healthcare industry, and this is starting to have an impact on standards of care. USA Today reports that a drop in rates of disciplinary action and malpractice litigation does not mean that malpractice rates will have dropped similarly, and, in fact, they may even have risen in the more fast-paced medical industry of today. In this complicated landscape, establishing the rights of the patient is more difficult, and more important, than ever.
The US environment
Research shows that the USA is fairly pioneering when it comes to medical malpractice and patient rights when compared to other countries. An important overview produced by the Journal of Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research notes how there is a structured system in place to help Americans access their rights and to gain value from the insurance-based health system. For patients affected by potential cases of negligence, a medical negligence law firm can provide expertise to ensure justice is met – for either party. However, over the past two years, changes in how doctors and illness are treated have changed the foundations of that system.
Checks and caps
The USA healthcare system is strained, and medical malpractice suits put extra pressure on that system. However, this is a necessary measure: a strained system will usually produce lower quality care. Changes are being made across the country, however, that are impacting the free actions of the course and litigators. Most recently, AP News reported that New Mexico has placed a cap on the amount of damages that can be awarded in medical negligence and malpractice. With measures like these becoming more common, the future of malpractice cases becomes more hazy.
According to health industry news magazine HealthAffairs, new focus is now being placed on removing ambiguity in the current medical malpractice litigation environment. Essentially, higher quality analysis from legal representatives, patients, and a collaborative approach to litigation will help to create better outcomes and enable hospitals to provide high quality care once again. Separating these cases out from the immunity that doctors have experienced in the fast-moving world of recent times is crucial.
Establishing that new way of working will help to solidify the rights that patients have. Effective litigation is an essential part of the way that American healthcare works, and it can only be achieved through these changes.