Performance Improvement 2004. Addressing the New Health Care Crisis: Reforming the Medical Litigation System to Improve the Quality of Health Care


Americans enjoy high quality health care. But we can do better. To that end, the Administration is undertaking a number of initiatives to increase access to care, while enhancing even further the quality of care and constraining cost increases. The Administration is acting to make more information available to consumers to help them identify quality care and to choose providers that offer quality care. We are encouraging and promoting the introduction of computer technology in health care to support the efforts of health professionals and reduce the chance of error. Reform of the litigation system is a further, critical part of our efforts to improve quality. The excesses of the litigation system raise the cost of health care for everyone, threaten Americans’ access to care, and impede efforts to improve the quality of care. We reported on the growing access crisis in the report issued on July 24, 2002 and updated with two supplements. As predicted, the crisis has only worsened since those reports were issued. The scope and intensity of the crisis have increased. More doctors, hospitals, and nursing homes in more states are facing increasing difficulty in obtaining insurance against lawsuits, and as a result more patients in more states are facing greater difficulty in obtaining access to doctors. This report describes the problems we currently face, the reasons these problems have arisen, and how we can fix them.

PIC ID: 7933
Agency Sponsor: ASPE-ODALTCP, Office of Disability, Aging, and Long-Term Care Policy
Federal Contact: Bergofsky, Linda, 202-690-6443
Performer: Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC

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