the week in review

The week’s most interesting reading: Lawyer Philip K. Howard argues for the creation of special health courts to evaluate medical malpractice claims. Howard says such a system would reduce legal and admin costs, which presently account for 54% of all malpractice expenses. Cases would be evaluated by judges working alongside neutral medical experts charged with applying accepted medical standards, and settlements would compensate patients for lost income, medical costs, and suffering. Howard doesn’t intend for these courts to reduce overall legal costs to the health system, but rather to distribute settlements more fairly to more those affected by medical error, and to free physicians from defensive practices.

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