Medical Malpractice Verdicts at 15 Year Low

There were 101 medical malpractice jury verdicts in Pennsylvania in 2015. Seventy-nine of these verdicts were defense verdicts. The number of medical malpractice verdicts is a fifteen year low. Between 2000 and 2002, there was an average of 326 medical malpractice jury verdicts per year.

Further, the total number of medical malpractice filings in 2015 was 1,519, which is down from an average of 2,733 between 2000 and 2002. The reduction in verdicts and total filings was caused by the 2002 MCare Act, which made it more difficult to file medical malpractice actions in Pennsylvania.

In discussions about tort reform, it is important to know these numbers, which show that tort reform is already in effect and drastically reducing the number of medical malpractice lawsuits in Pennsylvania.The reduction in lawsuits, however, has not corresponded with a reduction in medical costs or insurance premiums.

Is your doctor making money off of unnecessary surgical implants?

The Senate Finance Committee issued a recent report on Physician Owned Distributorships (“POD”s) and their impact on patient care. PODs are

physician-owned entities that derive revenue from selling, or arranging for the sale of, implantable medical devices ordered by their physician-owners for use in procedures the physician-owners perform on their own patients at hospitals or ambulatory surgical centers.

Unsurprisingly, this arrangement creates incentives for surgeons to recommend surgery at a higher rate, with the knowledge that they will get additional income from the use of implantable medical devices supplied by their POD.

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