Last month, we wrote about the Tennessee Medical Association’s push for a constitutional amendment to cap non-economic damage awards for medical malpractice cases. While researching the subject matter, we discovered a much more disturbing proposal backed by a so-called “patient advocacy group” based in Georgia.
The non-profit group, called Patients for Fair Compensation, purports to educate citizens about the negative impact of “defensive medicine.” For clarification, an article from the National Institutes of Health defines negative defensive medicine as, “…performing unnecessary diagnostic tests and invasive procedures, prescribing unnecessary treatment and needless hospitalization [in an effort to reduce litigation].”
Covering bad ideas with good language
The group has devised a plan that would create a fund in each state for victims of medical malpractice. Chairman and founder Richard L. Jackson told PR Newswire, “Patients for Fair Compensation believes a no fault Patient Compensation System would create a fairer, more patient-centric system, which would increase quality of care and innovation, while driving down the skyrocketing costs of defensive medicine. It’s time for a new compensation system in order to better focus on the quality and safety of patient care and end the practice of defensive medicine.”
While there is no doubt that malpractice insurance rates are staggering, the group’s proposal to remedy those problems is more focused on protecting the healthcare industry than protecting patients. Besides, numerous studies have shown that defensive medicine doesn’t save anyone money in the long run, if for no other reason that it’s almost impossible to quantify what is “defensive.” Under the proposed system, a medical malpractice victim would file a claim for review by a “panel of experts.” If the panel deems an injury “avoidable,” the claim would be forwarded to a Compensation Board.
The truth about Patients for Fair Compensation
It sounds too good to be true, and it is. The “panel of experts” would be made up of medical professionals, not a jury of peers. As for the non-profit “patient advocacy” group? Consider this:
- Chairman and founder Richard L. Jackson owns Jackson Healthcare, the 4th largest healthcare staffing company in the country.
- Vice-Chairman Charles Evans is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and a senior advisor to Jackson Healthcare.
- Board member Dr. Jeffrey Segal is the CEO and founder of Medical Justice, a physician-based organization focused on solutions to challenges facing the US healthcare system.
- Board member Michael Connelly is the former President of Catholic Health Partners, a regional operator of care facilities in Ohio and Kentucky.
These people are not advocates for patients’ rights. They are firmly rooted in the healthcare industry, and have been for a very long time. Their work has made them wealthy beyond reason, and they strive to protect the industry that provided that wealth. Patients For Fair Compensation is a lie; the group seeks to protect healthcare providers and facilities under the guise of protecting victims of medical negligence and malpractice.
In our effort to protect the innocent and promote justice, the Rocky McElhaney Law Firm will fight the efforts of Patients for Fair Compensation at every turn as we fight for the rights and fair compensation of medical malpractice victims every day. Together, we can make sure that the Patients Compensation System never sees the light of day in our state.
When you or a loved one is a victim of medical malpractice, you can find your life turned upside down in an instant. The experienced Tennessee medical malpractice attorneys at Rocky McElhaney Law can help you get the justice your family deserves. Visit us in Nashville, Gallatin, or Knoxville or contact us today for a free consultation. We fight for your rights. We fight for you.