Reform of the medical malpractice system may be on the horizon. IMS has been advancing a few ideas that seem and are simple; simple to understand, simple to get behind and support (iowamedical.org/news_detail.cfm?newsID=579). They are caps (always popular) and COM (Certificate of Merit.) Caps are what they say they are, until they aren't. How these are set up determines their effectiveness and longevity. Certificate of Merit holds that, for a suit to go forward, an independent physician in the same area of practice must attest to the court that the case has merit; thus the name. Iowa Trial Lawyers Association, dba Iowa Association for Justice, begs to differ. (desmoinesregister.com/article/20130207/NEWS/302070032/Claims-about-medical-malpractice-lawsuits-rejected?odyssey=tab%7Ctopnews%7Ctext%7CFrontpage)
My analysis/opinion follows.
First off, what do you expect the Iowa Trial Lawyers Association to say? They're in favor??? But their remarks must be read with all due gravity, for they do have some valid points. And there may be common ground here.
It's not about the money. Really. That's why you carry insurance.
It is about your reputation.
And this is why the remarks "It's just the cost of doing business." and "You have insurance." seem so snarky. Because they are.
Simply put, a med mal suit is a criminal proceeding. It's called and heard in civil court, but that's only to get the burden of proof tipped just enough for water to flow, albeit slowly. Let's look.
Compare child molestation to a med mal suit. If you win, you have to take a shower, you've been under tremendous stress, and winning does not restore your reputation. Even if you win, you have to declare the suit, which you don't have to if you win a child molestation case.
If you lose;
*You can't participate in certain programs / live within a fixed distance from certain locations.
*Your name is forever on an open registry (National Practitioner Data Bank) / sex criminal registry (although the registry is indexed for location, so failure to register is an out.)
*You have to declare your guilt to all to whom you apply to work (indistinguishable.)
If it were civil, it would more closely resemble a person tort, an injury suit. Your hit someone with your car in an accident. You are sued. Your insurance company pays if you lose. You can still drive a car and your record is expunged after a while. Meanwhile, you can still drive and you don't walk around with a scarlet letter.
Put lipstick on a pig, you still have a pig.
It is in understanding that we're talking here about a criminal case that may give common ground for reform.