IBJOpinion

Let's focus on medical errors

November 7, 2009
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IBJ Letters To The Editor

Debra Smith’s column in your Oct. 19 [Focus section] needs some clarification and correction. She addresses potential medical-malpractice reform and argues vigorously for a “peer-review” screening of medical-malpractice cases before they go to court.

What you failed to point out is that Indiana has had such a screening mechanism in place for 30 years. In Indiana, medical-malpractice cases are reviewed by a medical review panel consisting of three doctors before they are filed in court.

She then argues for a cap on economic and punitive damages on the grounds it will reduce the cost of health care. The data do not support her position. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the proposed cap would reduce the cost of medical liability insurance by about 10 percent. Since liability insurance premiums make up about 2 percent of the cost of health care, the savings would be about 0.2 percent. Your $100 medical bill would be reduced by 20 cents—not quite enough to buy a cup of coffee.

The real issue should be patient safety. There is a silent epidemic in this country. Over 100,000 people a year die of preventable medical mistakes. Twice as many people die of medical negligence as die in automobile accidents. The economic loss from those errors dwarfs any savings from caps. The focus in any health care reform should be on preventing the mistakes that cause those deaths.

__________

John Muller 

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  1. I think the poster was being sarcastic and only posting or making fun of what is usually posted on here about anything being built in BR or d'town for that matter.

  2. Great news IRL fans: TURBO the IMS sanctioned movie about slugs running the Indy 500 has caught the Securities and Exchange Commission because Dreamworks had to take a $132MILLION write down...because the movie was such a flop. See, the Indy/IMS magic soiled another pair of drawers. Bwahahahahahaha! How's CARTOWN doing? HAHAHAHA...Indy is for losers.

  3. So disappointed in WIBC. This is the last straw to lose a good local morning program. I used to be able to rely on WIBC to give me good local information, news, weather and traffic on my 45 minute commute.Two incidents when I needed local, accurate information regarding severe weather were the first signs I could not now rely on WIBC. I work weekend 12 hour nights for a downtown hospital. This past winter when we had the worst snowfall in my 50 years of life, I came home on a Sunday morning, went to sleep (because I was to go back in Sunday night for another 12 hour shift), and woke up around 1 p.m. to a house with no electricity. I keep an old battery powered radio around and turned on WIBC to see what was going on with the winter storm and the roads and the power outage. Sigh. Only policital stuff. Not even a break in to update on the winter storm warning. The second weather incident occurred when I was driving home during a severe thunderstorm a few months ago. I had already gotten a call from my husband that a tornado warning was just southwest of where I had been. I turned to WIBC to find out what direction the storm was headed so I could figure out a route home, only to find Rush on the air, and again, no breaking away from this stupidity to give me information. Thank God for my phone, which gave me the warning that I was driving in an area where a tornado was seen. Thanks for nothing WIBC. Good luck to you, Steve! We need more of you and not the politics of hatred that WIBC wants to shove at us. Good thing I have Satellite radio.

  4. I read the retail roundup article and tried Burritos and Beers tonight. I'm glad I did, for the food was great. Fresh authentic Mexican food. Great seasoning on the carne asada. A must try!!! Thanks for sharing.

  5. John, unfortunately CTRWD wants to put the tank(s) right next to a nature preserve and at the southern entrance to Carmel off of Keystone. Not exactly the kind of message you want to send to residents and visitors (come see our tanks as you enter our city and we build stuff in nature preserves...

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