Institute:Office of National Coordinator (ONC) Workforce Training Curriculum
Component:Introduction to Health Care and Public Health in the U.S.
Unit:Regulating Health Care
Lecture:Legal Aspects of Medicine
Slide content:Newer Tort Law Reforms Pre-determined non-economic damages Administrative compensation systems (health courts) Neutral expert witnesses Knowledgeable hearing officers Disclosure-and-offer programs Mistakes are admitted Compensation is offered 20
Slide notes:One proposed reform now being evaluated is for a panel of experts to predetermine what noneconomic damages are appropriate in a lawsuit. In this approach, the various possible medical injuries are listed and ranked by severity. For each level of severity, a range of dollar values is assigned for allowable noneconomic damages. Health courts are an alternative to the regular court system, and many variations have been proposed. A major difference between health courts and regular courts is that in a health court, the expert witnesses are neutral, instead of being paid by one side or another. Another major difference is that the judge or hearing officer must be knowledgeable about health care matters. In disclosure-and-offer programs, institutions encourage health care professionals to tell patients about medical errors. In appropriate cases, the institution offers modest compensation so the parties do not need to go to court. 20