Your Voice: Price will protect physicians from medical liability
I was surprised in reading “Physicians react to Tom Price nomination (MedicalEconomics.com, December 14, 2016)” that those who reacted favorably did not mention his position on medical liability.
The news media has mentioned that as head of Health and Human Services (HHS) he wants to tighten up the requirements for bringing malpractice suits against doctors.
As a physician, Congressman Price knows how physicians are often hit with lawsuit threats based on questionable evidence—and how they are forced to spend time, sometimes several years, defending these suits.
Because defending suits is exhausting and disruptive to their practices, many doctors try to ward them off by ordering tests and consultations that are not needed just to have a defense in case a suit is filed.
This “defensive medicine” approach—which most doctors now practice routinely—wastes immeasurably large amounts of money. Money that could be used to provide care for the poor and to lower costs for all of us.
Making the burden of proof for bringing suits against doctors more exacting has been a top priority for physician minds since at least the 1970s.
With Congressman Price as head of HHS, never have the chances for achieving this goal been within closer reach.
I believe that those who support his nomination far surpass those who do not.
Protecting patients is important of course. But, so is protecting doctors against false suits.
Edward Volpintesta, MD