AMA News: Disclosure Can Lower Lawsuits...
June 9, 2010Doug Wojcieszak, Founder & Spokesperson Contact phone/e-mail address: 618-559-8168; email@example.com
AMA News: Disclosure Can Lower Liability Expenses Story below that recently ran in AMA News that I thought you, our readers, would enjoy seeing. The drumbeat for disclosure is growing louder --- pass along to friends, colleagues, and doubters!
This is a great article....the only issue that gives me pause is although disclosure is widely accepted, as the article states, many front-line docs and staff still struggle with how to do disclosure because they have NOT been adequately trained. We need to train all of our people in order for hospitals, practices, and insurers to receive all the benefits of disclosure, including cost savings.
For more information on disclosure training, please give us a call at 618-559-8168 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Doug Wojcieszak, Founder Sorry Works! PO Box 531 Glen Carbon, IL 62034 618-559-8168 - direct dial
AMA NEWS - PROFESSION Disclosing medical errors can lower liability lawsuit expenses Many risk management officials see the financial benefits of the practice, says the author of a new report. By Alicia Gallegos, amednews staff. Posted June 1, 2011. Disclosing medical errors to patients mitigates medical liability lawsuits, increases safety and ensures long-term financial benefits for medical practices, according to a new report.
The report, released online May 12 by the privately owned international insurance broker Lockton, reviewed previous studies on error disclosures between 1987 and 2010 and analyzed the financial impact of such disclosure on health care professionals.
The Lockton report cited an analysis of the University of Michigan Health System's 2001 medical disclosure approach. The study, in the Aug. 17, 2010, issue of Annals of Internal Medicine, showed:
- About 20 fewer lawsuits each year were filed after the program's implementation.
- Lawsuit resolution time went from 1.36 years before the program started to 0.95 afterward.
- The average cost per lawsuit decreased from $405,921 to $228,308. The Annals study is online (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20713789/).
Research shows that disclosure programs make the best financial sense for health care organizations, along with being "the right thing to do," said report author Nancy Lamo, RN, an attorney and Lockton clinical risk consultant.
"I think health care practitioners, hospitals and clinicians, they're on the disclosure bus; it's left the station," she said. "But they're still wondering if it's going to save money or cost money. You can't argue with [the study data]. The data says these disclosures have saved us money."
A disclosure program by the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Lexington, Ky., also demonstrated financial benefits, including a significantly lower claim payout than that of other VA medical centers. The Lockton report cited a seven-year study that showed the Lexington hospital paid an average $15,622 per medical liability claim. The average payout among the VA system is $100,000 per claim. The Lockton report is online (www.lockton.com/resource_/ pageresource/mkt/disclosure%20of%20medical%20errors.pdf).
Although not every study supports disclosure, Lamo said the majority show more medical professionals accept and embrace the practice. Most risk management officials also are on board with the idea and appreciate its benefits, she added.
"I'm in favor of disclosure, but this is the age of disclosure and transparency. You can't really go back," she said. "It's like saying, 'I don't like electronic medical records.' We've already gone there."
The American Medical Association's Code of Medical Ethics says physicians are ethically obligated to disclose what happened "when a patient suffers significant medical complications that may have resulted from a physician's error."