NewTalk tag:newtalk.org,2008-02-11://2 2013-06-05T16:30:37Z Where experts discuss America's toughest issues Movable Type Publishing Platform 4.02a The AP Reports a 'New Malpractice Idea in Health Care Debate' tag:newtalk.org,2009://2.99 2009-10-21T14:57:37Z 2009-10-21T15:57:09Z In a release featuring NewTalkers Philip K. Howard (our founder) and Will Marshall, the Associated Press reports a "boost" for the health courts concept, thanks to President Obama's "willingness to consider alternatives to medical malpractice lawsuits." According to the release,... Admin Philip K. Howard (our founder) and Will Marshall, the Associated Press reports a "boost" for the health courts concept, thanks to President Obama's "willingness to consider alternatives to medical malpractice lawsuits." According to the release, proponents of health courts, and similar proposals such as the one put forth by the American Hospital Association, will have an opportunity to to "urge the administration to provide funds for a pilot program" at a Health and Human Services hearing next week. "Obama has set aside $25 million to test a range of alternatives to malpractice litigation, and the hearing is the first step in deciding how to distribute it."

Philip Howard and NewTalk's parent organization, Common Good, are cited as long time proponents of the health courts idea. According to Howard, "all patients would benefit from such a system because it would create an incentive for doctors to follow clinical best practice guidelines."  "Defensive medicine," Howard argues, "is the result of distrust by doctors in situations where they are blamed when a sick person get sicker, but they didn't do anything wrong." The health courts concept is intended to alleviate this culture of fear and distrust while still providing fair compensation to injured patients.

Will Marshall supports the idea, according to the release. "There is a progressive opportunity here to leapfrog what has been a stereotypically polarized debate in Washington," says Marshall. "This serves both progressive and conservative goals. You wouldn't have to have a terrible injury and attract an enterprising malpractice lawyer to have access to court. And it would reduce malpractice premiums."

[Associated Press]
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