Saturday, May 31, 2008
Med mal premiums in Mass., 1975-2005
Massachusetts has the fourth-highest median malpractice settlement payments for all states. The American Medical Association (AMA) declares it a crisis state. As a test case, we analyzed its premiums from 1975 to 2005. In 2005 mean premiums were $17,810 for the coverage level and policy type most frequently purchased. Most physicians paid lower inflation-adjusted premiums in 2005 than in 1990. Mean premiums increased in only three specialties comprising 4 percent of physicians: obstetrics, neurology, and orthopedists–spinal surgery. However, because of discounts and surcharges, in 2005 premiums within the three highest-risk specialties varied nearly threefold, and nearly one-third paid less than in 1990.
American College of Physicians: E-Health Recommendations
Health care may be the fastest growing industry, but it has been slow to adopt the use of technology. While orders at fast food chains are now entirely automated, most physician offices and hospitals still maintain their records on paper.
In [the ACP's] new position paper . . . , the nation’s largest medical specialty organization says that collaboration among physicians, patients, technology developers, and policymakers must occur if e-health activities like electronic communication between physicians and their patients, remote monitoring of patients, personal and electronic health records, and patients seeking health information online are to transform health care in the U.S.
In other words, don't hold your breath.