Monday, March 08, 2004

On call today so not a great deal of time to post something big. I found this on the Medical Economics site and thought it would add some more grist for the mill: How plaintiffs' lawyers pick their targets

Two top malpractice attorneys explain why some physicians are more likely to get sued. Basically, it's a business decision, but some personal factors—like a doctor's arrogance or poor bedside manner—can also weigh heavily......

Allen: Even before we request records, Alice and I will sit down and evaluate the case. The first thing we need to assess is the dollar value of the damage. If there's no damage, then there's no case for us, no matter how badly the doctor may have screwed up. I could be more compassionate about it, but that's the real basis for our decision: You establish the damage first, then the liability.

Burkin: Because of our time investment and costs, we really can't consider a case unless we can expect a payoff of at least $200,000 in damages, and even that's really not enough. If we end up taking the case to trial, we're probably going to spend $20,000 to $30,000 or more. So we have to make a business decision: Are the potential damages worth the time and expense we'll have to invest to win?

Sorry Mr. Smith, since you have Georgia Medicaid the measly reimbursement I would receive would not be worth the time and office expense I would have to invest in treating you.

Doesn't quite roll off the tongue as easily, does it?
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