4199.0: Tuesday, November 14, 2000: 2:30 PM-4:00 PM

Patient injury and liability reform: the importance of front-line management and market forces in truly helping patients

Medical injury is a huge and hugely under-appreciated problem, traditionally considered only incidentally in periodic legislative tort-reform battles between doctors and lawyers. Preventing injuries rather than litigating them gets scant attention, though deterrence is the principal theoretical rationale for imposing liability. Three develops make the time ripe for useful change: (a) the growing visibility of injury in the wake of last November's IOM report _To Err Is Human_, (b) the separate drive for "patient protection," with its well publicized "horror stories," and (c) some business leaders' beginning to emphasize patient safety as an aspect of quality. Whereas the biggest previous problem was the lack of policy attention, today a major concern is overreaction to a still poorly understood set of problems with untested solutions. Policy makers lack detailed knowledge of the very different sorts of front-line problems in different sectors of health care delivery and finance as well as an informed theoretical framework for creating new social accountability. There is a rush to impose new liability without understanding its usefulness and drawbacks. It is quite uncertain what innovations work best in which areas of clinical and insurance practice, much less who can most effectively be held responsible for what. The social and research challenge is considerable. This panel advances policy-relevant knowledge with four papers on injury prevention and its operations within varying legal and institutional contexts: large physician groups that manage care, the Veterans Administration, a surprising trend setter in patient safety, and quality-driven purchasing decisions by large business purchasers
See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement.
Learning Objectives: Refer to the individual abstracts for learning objectives
Organizer(s):Randall R. Bovbjerg, JD
Nancy J. Wilson, MD, MPH
Robert H. Miller, PhD
2:30 PMA model of efforts to improve patient safety in large, capitated physician organizations
Robert H. Miller, PhD
3:00 PMHow large physician groups address medical errors: lessons from large physician groups for legal policy
Randall R. Bovbjerg, JD
3:30 PMRecent developments in patient safety in the department veterans affairs and their applicability in the private sector
Nancy J. Wilson, MD, MPH
Sponsor:Health Law Forum

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA