Maryland Medical Malpractice Attorneys: Will Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Increase After the Affordable Care Act?

The effectiveness of the Affordable Care Act may not be immediately apparent and it might be a while before the main goals of the controversial act — to bring down health care costs and make it more accessible to more people — can be evaluated. Some critics of the Affordable Care Act have warned that health care costs might actually go up, especially if the influx of new patients stresses the health care system so that more medical errors occur, leading to more medical malpractice lawsuits.

A recent op-ed in The New York Times pointed out that another goal of the program is to improve patient safety and reduce medical error. One way to implement this is to encourage hospitals to be more transparent regarding medical errors. Skeptics argue that prevailing medical malpractice laws act as a disincentive for hospitals to require doctors and staff to report their mistakes. However, the author suggested several ways that medical malpractice lawsuits improve physician performance and patient safety. Because medical malpractice lawsuits investigate the claim so thoroughly, hospitals can gain important information regarding:

  1. Unreported medical errors
  2. Prevalence of diagnostic errors
  3. Problematic departments or procedures

No hospital administrator wants a malpractice suit against a staff member, but many seem to realize that they can improve patient safety by paying attention to the problems raised in the suit and implementing better policies and procedures.

Medical professionals have a duty to abide by accepted standards of care and when they fail to do so, they should be held accountable. This is the premise that we follow when we represent clients who were seriously injured because of physician negligence or preventable error in a medical malpractice case. If you or a loved one has been injured due to medical malpractice, please contact our Maryland medical malpractice attorneys at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton, P.A. to discuss your legal rights. Let us help you obtain the compensation you deserve.