Deal Could Trade Tort Reform for Additional Health Reform

(HealthDay News) — Physicians may be willing to make a trade in accepting some additional health reform efforts in exchange for tort reform, according to an article published in the January issue of Health Affairs.

William M. Sage, MD, JD, from the University of Texas in Austin, and David A. Hyman, MD, JD, from the University of Illinois in Champaign, examine potential gains for broader health policy from making a deal with tort reform.

The authors say that a deal could potentially be brokered where relief from malpractice liability is obtained in exchange for acceptance of other policy changes that more directly improve access to care and reduce costs. Potential examples of these other health reform efforts may include restructuring fee-for-service payment, heightening transparency regarding the quality and cost of health care services, and expanding practice privileges for other health professionals.

“There are also reasons to believe that tort reform can make ongoing health care delivery reforms work better, in addition to buttressing health reform efforts that might otherwise fail politically,” the authors write.

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