Posts Tagged ‘medical malpractice’

Medical roundup

More on liability reform in the House — and a federalism angle

I’ve got a post at Cato at Liberty catching up on House action on litigation reform bills — see last week — and comparing it in particular to the recommendations of the chapter on tort and class action law (of which I was one author) in the new 8th edition Cato Handbook for Policymakers. As I note, two measures (on sanctions and class actions) track recommendations Cato scholars have been making for years, while a third (on medical liability] has been scaled back in a way that at least nods to concerns I and others have expressed.

The last few paragraphs of the piece follow:

Finally, there has been a development worth noting on H.R. 1215, the Protecting Access To Care Act, which passed committee by an 18-17 vote on Feb. 28. I and others have repeatedly criticized federal medical liability bills on the grounds that they run into serious problems of federalism and enumerated powers, seeking to justify federal involvement by way of loose New Deal doctrines of impact on interstate commerce, and overriding the workings of state courts even as to the large mass of medical malpractice disputes in which both parties to the lawsuit are local to the state and the costs of error are apt to be local as well. As I argued in this space:

That doesn’t mean federal policymakers are to be left with no role at all. For example, if Washington is paying for a large share of hospital stays, it may make sense as a cost containment measure for it to steer beneficiaries into lower-cost ways of resolving disputes over care quality, or even to ask beneficiaries as a condition of treatment to agree not to file certain suits at all. But that would require stepping back toward a more careful—and more Constitutionally appropriate—view of the federal role.

This year, PACA includes a new limiting provision. To quote Rep. Bob Goodlatte, on the bill’s latest version:

Unlike past iterations, this bill only applies to claims concerning the provision of goods or services for which coverage is provided in whole or in part via a Federal program, subsidy, or tax benefit, giving it a clear federal nexus. Wherever federal policy affects the distribution of health care, there is a clear federal interest in reducing the costs of such federal policies.

Whether the provision in question is drafted in such a way as to pass federalist muster is a question for another day — but it does at least seem that someone on Capitol Hill may have been listening to our past critiques.

Medical roundup

Medical roundup

  • “Here’s how lawmakers want to fix our kidney shortage” [Robert Gebelhoff, ideas of Sally Satel and others; Alex Tabarrok on Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.)’s proposed Organ Donor Clarification Act]
  • AMA: Lawyer ads stirring up pharmaceutical litigation are scaring viewers into going off needed medications [Jessica Karmasek, Forbes]
  • How does Cuba score such good infant health data? Fudging statistics, jailing truth-tellers helps [video, Free To Choose TV, “Dead Wrong” with Johan Norberg]
  • Per Swedish study, lottery winners do not get healthier after their windfalls. Some implications about health care and inequality? [Alex Tabarrok]
  • Really, AMA: declaring shootings a public health crisis at best a political stunt [Trevor Burrus]
  • Is ten years too long, Your Honor? “New York Lawmakers Push to Extend Deadline for Med-Mal Suits” [Insurance Journal]

Medical roundup

Medical roundup

Medical roundup

  • Even into the thick of the scandal revelations, Sen. Bernie Sanders “wanted to believe that the VA was a model for government-run health care” [Tim Mak, The Daily Beast]
  • Issues include state licensing, location of service for legal purposes: “How Congress Can Remove Barriers to Affordable, Quality Telemedicine” [Michael Cannon, Cato]
  • “Resistance to anesthesia in the 19th century” [R. Meyer and S.P. Desai via Tyler Cowen]
  • “There’s no evidence the FDA blocks innovation or makes innovation harder or makes it more costly,” claims one Harvard professor. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) disagree and have introduced a FDA reciprocity bill to “make it easier for U.S. patients to access drugs and devices already approved in other developed countries” [Alex Tabarrok first, second, third (Daniel Klein and William Davis survey) posts]
  • “Judge rules against Al Qaeda supporter who claimed medical malpractice against his jailers.” [Reuters]
  • No, these aren’t “three parent” babies and Congress should not be talked into moral panic about them [Andrew Stuttaford]
  • “Increase in nursing malpractice claims” [Nursing Services Organization and CNA Professional Liability via TortsProf]

Medical roundup

  • “No, Donating Your Leftover Tissue To Research Is Not Like Letting Someone Rifle Through Your Phone” [Michelle Meyer answers “Henrietta Lacks” author Rebecca Skloot; related, Richard Epstein/Hoover]
  • “Women Should Not Have to Visit a Doctor for Birth Control” [Jeffrey Singer, Time/Cato]
  • Lawyer ads can scare TV viewers into discontinuing medically indicated therapies. But is more regulation the right answer? [reform group Sick of Lawsuits]
  • Johnson & Johnson followed federal government’s own advice on labeling a drug, and got slammed by a jury in consequence [WSJ editorial]
  • U.S. opinion resistant to ratifying treaties that would create an international-law right to health care, so how about smuggling it in via congressional/executive agreement? [Nicholas Diamond, Harvard “Bill of Health”]
  • Denmark, like other Scandinavian countries and New Zealand, has replaced malpractice suits with iatrogenic injury compensation scheme [Pro Publica]
  • Has liberalized patient access to opioids been a net harm? Study suggests no [Tyler Cowen]

Medical roundup

  • Study: doctors who use more resources are less likely to face malpractice claims [British Medical Journal]
  • “Obesity is not in fact a public health problem. It may be a widespread health problem, but you can’t catch obesity from doorknobs or molecules in the air. [David Boaz, Cato]
  • Contingency-fee law enforcement creates bad incentives, part MCXXXVI, health outlay recoupment division [W$J on Medicare auditors]
  • Welcome to Canada, skilled one, unless your spouse is ill. What that says about the welfare state [Bryan Caplan]
  • “Jury awards $16.7 million in swine flu death of pregnant Puyallup mother” [Tacoma News-Tribune]
  • Doc convicted of murder after patient overdoses: “Some experts worried that a conviction would have a chilling effect on worried doctors and keep powerful painkillers from patients who need them.” [L.A. Times via Jacob Sullum]

The Frezza cases: Texas vs. New Mexico medical tug-of-war

Our readers and commenters knew more than we did about that case referenced week before last in which the New Mexico courts are deciding whether a Texas doctor can be sued under New Mexico’s relatively pro-plaintiff law over care delivered in the Lone Star State, following a patient’s referral by a New Mexico health insurance plan. Alarmed at the ruling, some Texas docs are threatening to not accept New Mexico patients. You can find more coverage of Montano v. Frezza by Josie Ortegon at El Paso’s KVIA, and the Texas Alliance For Patient Access has a website about the case, which has drawn amicus briefs from organizations that include the University of Texas System and Texas Medical Liability Trust. Samuel Walker of McGinn, Carpenter, Montoya, and Love provides a plaintiff’s-side view of the issues in the several related Frezza suits.