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Old 09-11-2009, 10:05 AM   #76
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Re: The Health Care Reform Address Thread

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Originally Posted by Schneed10 View Post
I can tell you that at our healthsystem malpractice premiums account for about 3-4% of our total expenses.

Malpractice premiums are increasing at about 15% per year.

So while the rest of our costs increase at about 6% per year, because malpractice is going up by 15%, it is responsible for a half of a percentage increase in overall expense growth within healthcare.

Reducing overall healthcare expenses across the nation by a tenth of a percent would cut the deficit drastically. This could be accomplished by getting malpractice premiums to increase by only 12% instead of by 15%.

Small changes in expense growth accumulate to massive savings across the system, at least when compared to the projected deficit.
OK...but aren't people more concerned simply with the cost to themselves? When I am think about costs ultimately I am thinking what can we do to get those people paying $700 a month for insurance to only pay $600.

Also...the costs you cited...do they included the so called "defensive medicine" that doctors cite as causing issues?
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Old 09-11-2009, 10:13 AM   #77
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Re: The Health Care Reform Address Thread

I know zero about this and have not seen a doctor for myself since I was in college but what is annoying is that doctors are so afraid of malpractice suits that they go over board on eveything. When my son gets sick we call his PED and ask for advice, now people with kids know they are only really sick between 12 and 3 am, as soon as we call the PED before you can say boo he is like take him to the ER, whatever. Ever trip to the ER is a $100 for me and the worst part is the waiting.

My son had a bad cough boaderline kroup last winter, call the doctor he says go to the ER, shocker. We get there, slowly it is getting worst more like a dog bark we have been waiting two hours. A nice lady in the ER who was waiting also said take him outside for like 15 minutes (cold air). So we do it come back in wait another 30 minutes and he is much better, so much we head home it is now 6:30 am the PED opens at 7:30 am. Take him to the PED he says oh yeah that will work (taking him in cold air) but I can't tell you that on the phone, WTF! Still got charged $100 and my insurnace got charge as well just for sitting in the waiting room. For the record we don't go to the PED anymore.
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Old 09-11-2009, 10:16 AM   #78
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Re: The Health Care Reform Address Thread

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Originally Posted by FRPLG View Post
OK...but aren't people more concerned simply with the cost to themselves? When I am think about costs ultimately I am thinking what can we do to get those people paying $700 a month for insurance to only pay $600.

Also...the costs you cited...do they included the so called "defensive medicine" that doctors cite as causing issues?
Well ultimately cost is all tied together. Naturally, slowing the growth of malpractice saves providers money. Over time, providers get pressured by Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial payers to bring down their reimbursement rates to account for these savings. And providers will oblige under political pressure.

Once growth of reimbursement rates to providers is slowed, that puts more money back in the pockets of Medicare, Medicaid, and your insurance company. They then will slow the growth of your premiums.

It's all connected. It will take time for the savings to work their way through the system back to the consumer. But it will happen.
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Old 09-11-2009, 10:18 AM   #79
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Re: The Health Care Reform Address Thread

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Originally Posted by FRPLG View Post
OK...but aren't people more concerned simply with the cost to themselves? When I am think about costs ultimately I am thinking what can we do to get those people paying $700 a month for insurance to only pay $600.

Also...the costs you cited...do they included the so called "defensive medicine" that doctors cite as causing issues?
No, defensive medicine expenses are separate from the numbers I cited. The growth in actual malpractice premiums is entirely attributable to jury awards.

Wasteful utilization due to defensive medicine is a whole other cluster of expense that can also be cut.
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Old 09-11-2009, 10:28 AM   #80
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Re: The Health Care Reform Address Thread

Schneed - as to malpractice. I understand the costs but, other than capping punitive awards, what can other ways are their to cut malpractice insurance? Even capping puni's (which this administration would have a hard time doing b/c of its allegiance to the trial lawyers) may not work - I am simply unsure of what percentage of awards they make up and what the trend is.
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Old 09-11-2009, 11:02 AM   #81
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Re: The Health Care Reform Address Thread

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Schneed - as to malpractice. I understand the costs but, other than capping punitive awards, what can other ways are their to cut malpractice insurance? Even capping puni's (which this administration would have a hard time doing b/c of its allegiance to the trial lawyers) may not work - I am simply unsure of what percentage of awards they make up and what the trend is.
Cutting puni's is it. Malpractice is a simple business.

The cash in to malpractice insurance firms comes in the form of premiums. Cash out comes in the form of paying punitive damages and settlements.

The settlements come down if punitive damages come down. It's pretty simple.
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Old 09-11-2009, 11:41 AM   #82
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Re: The Health Care Reform Address Thread

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Originally Posted by Schneed10 View Post
I can tell you that at our healthsystem malpractice premiums account for about 3-4% of our total expenses.

Malpractice premiums are increasing at about 15% per year.

So while the rest of our costs increase at about 6% per year, because malpractice is going up by 15%, it is responsible for a half of a percentage increase in overall expense growth within healthcare.

Reducing overall healthcare expenses across the nation by a tenth of a percent would cut the deficit drastically. This could be accomplished by getting malpractice premiums to increase by only 12% instead of by 15%.

Small changes in expense growth accumulate to massive savings across the system, at least when compared to the projected deficit.
The real cost of malpractice is something I've been looking for for a while. Can you reference statistics on the subject matter?
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Old 09-11-2009, 11:49 AM   #83
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Re: The Health Care Reform Address Thread

Learning a little as I go here. Tell me what you think of the validity of this study. http://www.citizen.org/documents/NPD...port_Final.pdf

I am not a numbers guy and this is a very statistic heavy study but it argues that the majority of malpractice costs are essentially due more to rising costs of care and lack of doctor disciplinary actions ("only 18 percent of doctors have been responsible for even a single malpractice payment" - yet only 33% of those doctors who have had 10 or more claims paid have been subjected to discipline).

The study relies on data collected by the "National Practitioner Data Bank" are you familiar with this entity? If so, do you believe it to be a credible data base?

Just from a general skimming of the information on the internet turned up by my search for "malpractice awards punitive percentage" seems to suggest that this is another one of those areas where stats don't support intuitive/common thought. Many states have capped punitive dams (~20), five don't allow them at all. PUNITIVE DAMAGE AWARDS, CAPS, AND STANDARDS. Even so, malpractice costs increase.

Not sure what all this means except that we are back to "no easy answers".
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Old 09-11-2009, 11:52 AM   #84
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Re: The Health Care Reform Address Thread

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The real cost of malpractice is something I've been looking for for a while. Can you reference statistics on the subject matter?
What sort of stats are you looking for? Premium costs? Average payouts?
Again, take a look at the consumer study I referenced. Lots of stuff in there. It's a "consumer" organization, don't know if it's just a front for the trial lawyers. Also, while the data seems to be pretty impartial, hard to tell from 15-20 mins of searching/skimming.
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Old 09-11-2009, 12:13 PM   #85
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Re: The Health Care Reform Address Thread

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Originally Posted by Schneed10 View Post
Cutting puni's is it. Malpractice is a simple business.

The cash in to malpractice insurance firms comes in the form of premiums. Cash out comes in the form of paying punitive damages and settlements.

The settlements come down if punitive damages come down. It's pretty simple.
Cash out comes from paying judgments and settlements. Not just punitive damages. Judgments & settlements are also made up of compensatory awards. Reducing compensatory damage awards also requires reducing medical costs (i.e. the cost for Doctor B to fix what Doctor A did wrong). So, I don't think it is as clear cut as you paint it. Capping punitive damages seems to be one (possibly small) aspect, but it does not appear to be a cure all for the high cost of malpractice insurance.

Bring on the MICC
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Old 09-11-2009, 01:27 PM   #86
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Re: The Health Care Reform Address Thread

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The real cost of malpractice is something I've been looking for for a while. Can you reference statistics on the subject matter?
No don't have anything like that. I'm just referencing information from our own internal financial statements.
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Old 09-11-2009, 01:28 PM   #87
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Re: The Health Care Reform Address Thread

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Originally Posted by JoeRedskin View Post
Cash out comes from paying judgments and settlements. Not just punitive damages. Judgments & settlements are also made up of compensatory awards. Reducing compensatory damage awards also requires reducing medical costs (i.e. the cost for Doctor B to fix what Doctor A did wrong). So, I don't think it is as clear cut as you paint it. Capping punitive damages seems to be one (possibly small) aspect, but it does not appear to be a cure all for the high cost of malpractice insurance.

Bring on the MICC
You're right, the compensatory component isn't likely to be reduced. But capping the punitive would make a dent large enough to move the meter on the federal deficit.
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Old 09-11-2009, 06:35 PM   #88
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Re: The Health Care Reform Address Thread

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What sort of stats are you looking for? Premium costs? Average payouts?
Again, take a look at the consumer study I referenced. Lots of stuff in there. It's a "consumer" organization, don't know if it's just a front for the trial lawyers. Also, while the data seems to be pretty impartial, hard to tell from 15-20 mins of searching/skimming.
What I'm really looking for a survey of how much doctors are paying in insurance premiums on average and the average award by jurist. It's really hard to assess the scope of the problem without knowing the statistical data on who/what/when/where.

It seems that this information is top secrete and no one wants to disclose it. Not even by a government agency responsible for tracking this information.

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Old 09-11-2009, 07:57 PM   #89
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Re: The Health Care Reform Address Thread

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Originally Posted by saden1 View Post
What I'm really looking for a survey of how much doctors are paying in insurance premiums on average and the average award by jurist. It's really hard to assess the scope of the problem without knowing the statistical data on who/what/when/where.

It seems that this information is top secrete and no one wants to disclose it. Not even by a government agency responsible for tracking this information.
I have two friends who are doctors and one pays $90,000 and the other around $85,000 between the two only one was sued about 5 years back. Not sure what they received but my buddy said he screwed up in that case.
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Old 09-15-2009, 12:56 PM   #90
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Re: The Health Care Reform Address Thread

Ok, this has nothing to do with health care but I did not feel it was worth another thread. Obama did the right thing yesterday and gave the OK to hit a terrorist which we have been trying to track down.
Key al Qaeda operative killed in U.S. strike, Somalia says - CNN.com He also imposed new punitive tariffs on all car and light truck tires coming into the U.S. from China which was also a good move. I just thought I would post this for our friends on the left who seem to think we can never say anything good about OBama.
Obama imposes tariffs on Chinese tires; Beijing calls move 'protectionism' | StarTribune.com

I also used their talking point news source CNN.
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