For Immediate Release September 17, 2009
Implementation, and Evaluation of Alternatives
to the Current Medical Liability System
about the need to improve patient safety and to reform our medical liability system. Between 44,000 and 98,000 patients die each year from medical errors. Many physicians continue to
struggle to pay their medical malpractice premiums, which vary tremendously by specialty and by State. The cost of insurance continues to be one of the highest practice expenses for some
specialties. And although malpractice premiums do not account for a large percentage of total medical costs, many physicians report that fear of lawsuits leads them to practice defensive
medicine, which may contribute to higher costs.
liability reform must be just one part of broader health insurance reform -- reform that offers more security and stability to Americans who have insurance, offers insurance to Americans who lack coverage, and slows the growth of health care costs for families, businesses, and government.
of frivolous lawsuits. And we must work to reduce liability premiums.
and to evaluate the effectiveness of projects regarding all aspects of health care, including medical liability. I hereby request that you announce, within 30 days of this memorandum,
that the Department will make available demonstration grants to States, localities, and health systems for the development, implementation, and evaluation of alternatives to our current
medical liability system, consistent with the goals and core commitments outlined above.
departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees,
or agents, or any other person.
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