In the United States of America, the medical malpractice crisis has taken a new scale in affecting the citizens. Similar to several other states, Illinois has faced constantly rising and high premiums that make the health care sector expensive for the citizens. It is, however, worth noting that the recent past has witnessed a number of liability firms that are physician-backed leave the market. These firms represent the largest carriers of the medical malpractice. The ever-increasing rates have been associated with an increase of the severity of the claims. In the state of Illinois, the move to cap malpractice payments is seen as one of the ways through which the growth in premiums can be slowed (Louisell et al. 2003).
This calls for major reforms in the sector in order to address the medical malpractice claims. These reforms may take various perspectives, including the manner that the claims are adjudicated, the substance of the law as well as the way in which the outcomes of cases are made publicly available to consumers of medical services and professional disciplinary boards. The recent past has seen a constant rise in the medical malpractice premiums. This has had an effect of reducing the total number of liability carriers that offer insurance. It has also led to a decline in profits
Illinois is one of the states that have been directly affected by the medical malpractices. This calls for major reforms on a number of issues if transparency is to be achieved. The first stage of doing this should regard the procedures through which the claims are adjudicated. The Senate Bill 475 did not give specific reforms as to the medical malpractice cases (Sloan et al. 2008). To a large extent, the reforms were general and addressed reforms in tort law. The procedures that were availed are at best applicable to death cases and personal injuries.
Despite the United States of America spending millions in providing better health care, a great number of the citizens are not insured. Consequently, the possibility of many Americans having access to Medicare access is threatened. There is an increased liability threat that is posed by both the patients and their attorneys. This gives the healthcare reform much significance in the United States of America. As already argued above, the first stage that needs reforms is the procedural stage. This stage encompasses the patient access. Over time, the crisis relating to medical liability has not been classified under medical malpractice. The crisis is always in the patient access. This is because most physicians have significantly altered their practices and have adopted high-risk procedures (Weiler, 2003). This has been brought about by the fear for litigation. This fear has negatively affected the physician-patient relationship and as a result, defensive medicine has been adopted. This directly affects the cost of healthcare since it decreases access. To address this problem, it is crucial important to have a reduction in malpractice payments. This can only be realized if the damage caps are nationally operated.
Reforms in the substance of the law play a key role in shaping the medical malpractice. In essence, if the state decides to adopt reforms that are aimed at limiting lawsuits that are frivolous, then the medical reforms will be greatly boosted. The state should ensure it provides safety protocols that should be used at all times. This includes providing clinical guidelines to the public and educating them on what to expect in such occasions. Over the past, the law has not effectively covered this aspect conclusively. This leads to loopholes that can be exploited by the physicians. It is necessary to introduce tough laws to the practice in order to ensure that all practitioners strictly follow the guidelines provided. This may include a move by the physicians to disclose to the patients the errors and making them aware of the reasonable financial settlements on offer, whenever appropriate. This will play a crucial role in reducing liability claims.
It is also important to carry out reforms by publicly availing the case outcomes to the professional disciplinary boards and the consumers of the medical services (Weiler, 2003). The state of Illinois does not have rules and policies that encourage those in the authorities to provide to the public the findings and the rulings of the cases. This is very wrong as it deprives the citizens the right to have the information on how a certain issue was carried out in addressing liability and medical malpractice. Practitioners should be encouraged to share this information as it enables the public to have some clue on what is required of them. In most cases, the consumers of medical services are an ignorant lot who are unaware of their obligations and rights as far as medical care is concerned. Most do not possess the necessary knowledge to address such issues when they arise. This may be partly attributable to lack of exposure. By providing the information to them, they may gain some knowledge on what is expected of them.
Louisell, D. W., Williams, H., & Kramer, C. (2000). Medical malpractice. New York, NY: M. Bender.
Sloan, F. A., & Chepke, L. M. (2008). Medical malpractice. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.
United States (2003). Impact of legal reforms on medical malpractice costs. Washington, DC: U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment.
Weiler, P. C. (2003). A Measure of malpractice: Medical injury, malpractice litigation, and patient compensation. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.