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Bob Carroll
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Businessmen Understand Harvard's Malpractice Study

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Businessmen like to get to the bottom line, the real facts. Crain’s Cleveland Business reports on the latest Harvard study of our medical malpractice system.

Malpractice realities

A new Harvard study suggests that the country’s medical malpractice system, while far from perfect, is not exactly the hotbed of payouts for frivolous lawsuits that critics — primarily doctors and business groups — claim.

The researchers contend that malpractice reform efforts often are misguided.

“Many of the current tort reform initiatives, such as caps on noneconomic damages, are motivated by a perception that ‘jackpot’ awards in frivolous suits are draining the system,” said Michelle Mello, an associate professor of health policy and law at HSPH and a co-author of the study.

“But nearly 80% of the administrative costs of the malpractice system are tied to resolving claims that have merit,” she said. “Finding ways to streamline the lengthy and costly processing of meritorious claims should be in the bullseye of reform efforts.”

In the heartland they know facts are facts.