Options for Reducing the Deficit
Select a health care facility or service (e.g., hospital, physician practice, long-term care facility, ambulance service, pharmacy, or skilled nursing facility), and evaluate the effects that implementing the health option would have on a health care facility or service you selected.
Options for Reducing the Deficit
The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the impacts of Option 13: Limit Medical Malpractice Claims by the Congressional Budget Office (2016). Medication errors and medical harm is not uncommon during the process of provision of healthcare services. In the event of medical harm or medication errors a patients may sue healthcare providers or a physician for malpractice claims for financial compensation (Congressional Budget Office, 2016). The rationale of liability system is to provide corrective justice, compensate patients who sustain injury due to negligence, and deter negligence (Mello et al., 2020). This option would enable standardization of medical malpractice laws all-over the States and territories in the U.S.
Implications of the Implications
Placing federal limits on malpractice claims is described by the Congressional Budget Office (2016) as having a potential for reducing total healthcare spending. Malpractice claim limitations will result in decrease of prescriptions; thus, reduce the degree of demand for healthcare services due to conduction of fewer diagnostic procedures (Congressional Budget Office, 2016). Since average malpractice awards will be smaller, fewer people will be willing to pursue malpractice claims. These effects would reduce total healthcare spending and leading to decreased cost of care for individual patients. With this option, Medicare beneficiaries will be less likely to sue physicians, hospitals, or other healthcare providers for malpractice claims since the smaller awards. In other cases, the limitations may discourage claimants from filing for lawsuits in certain circumstances in which negligence have not actually occurred (Congressional Budget Office, 2016).
According to Congressional Budget Office (2016), Option 13 would mandatory healthcare spending by U.S. $55 billion in the period between 2017 and 2026. The estimated cost reduction takes into consideration the impact of outlays. Similarly, discretionary spending savings would amount to U.S. $2 billion (including outlays) between 2017 and 2026 (Congressional Budget Office, 2016). Another impact is that the option would result increased supply of certain specialists such as obstetricians in certain regions of the U.S. Besides, it may restrict the provision redundant or unnecessary services (Congressional Budget Office, 2016). A large proportion of successful malpractice claims often goes to patients who not experienced actual negligence; whereas a few have experience actual negligence, limiting malpractice awards may discourage underserving patients from signing for malpractice claims (Kass & Rose, 2016).
The option will force some specialists to move to regions that used to impose low malpractice awards. On the other hand, the option may force some specialists to leave medical practice altogether due to high malpractice awards. High premiums that excess U.S. $200,000 may discourage some healthcare providers and may choose to leave the profession for other professions or alternative economic activities (Congressional Budget Office, 2016).
Limitations of malpractice claims may improve access to care and reduce cost of healthcare. Besides, the option would lead to reduced demand for healthcare services; reduce over-diagnosis, and unnecessary prescriptions. Besides, it may save healthcare professionals from underserved lawsuits when negligence has not actually occurred. However, healthcare professionals may leave the profession for other professions if they find the malpractice claims high.
Congressional Budget Office. (Dec 2016). Options for reducing the deficit: 2017 to 2026. https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/114th-congress-2015-2016/reports/52142-budgetoptions.pdf
Kass, J. S., & Rose, R. V. (2016). Medical malpractice reform: Historical approaches, alternative models, and communication and resolution programs. AMA J Ethics, 18(3), 299-310. https://journalofethics.ama-assn.org/article/medical-malpractice-reform-historical-approaches-alternative-models-and-communication-and-resolution/2016-03
Mello, M. M., Frakes, M. D., Blumenkranz, E., & Studdert, D. M. (2020). Malpractice liability and health care quality a review. JAMA, 323(4), 352-366. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/10.1001/jama.2019.21411?utm_campaign=articlePDF%26utm_medium=articlePDFlink%26utm_source=articlePDF%26utm_content=jama.2019.21411