Healthcare Bill Fails to Address Key Cost Creator, Doctors Warn

Tue Sep 1, 2009 5:13pm EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

Michigan Physicians Weigh In: Professional Peer Review Key to Sustainable,
Quality Healthcare in America 
SAGINAW, Mich.--(Business Wire)--
Michigan physicians disagree with the healthcare reform package proposed by the
Obama administration. A group of Michigan physicians, spearheaded by
Saginaw-based neurosurgeons Gerald R. Schell, M.D. and E. Malcolm Field, M.D.,
have begun a campaign to ensure that any healthcare reform package includes an
overhaul of the current litigation-based system. These physicians have helped to
create Michigan Physicians United, an organization dedicated to amplifying the
voice of physicians in the national healthcare debate. 

The President`s proposal fails to include a professional peer review committee
for medical malpractice cases. According to Michigan Physicians United, a review
committee would reduce the costs of healthcare to all citizens, but thus far,
divisive politics have prevented a full discussion of tort reform in healthcare.
Michigan Physicians United believes that the government must discover an
alternative to resolving patient care issues aside from the court system, which
is fraught with considerable time delays and very expensive for all involved. 

"Physicians practice medicine with excessive insurance cost burdens and the
constant fear of trial lawyers seeking unbelievable and unwarranted cash awards,
of which a large percentage goes to the attorney that sued," lamented
neurosurgeon Gerald R. Schell, M.D. "Physicians often feel pressure to order
excessive testing merely to cover their bases and help guard against malpractice
claims. This leads to reductions in quality, a less efficient system, and
unnecessary and unsustainable financial burdens to society." 

According to Towers Perrin, a global professional services firm, malpractice
litigation costs $30 billion a year and has grown more than 10% annually since
1975. Additionally, the threat of frivolous lawsuits has pressured physicians to
order extensive tests simply to help protect against lawsuits, regardless of
cost. The time, money, and duplicity involved in the practice of "defensive
medicine" has resulted in scheduling delays for medically necessary tests and
added considerable expenses to our health care system. Physicians are beginning
to speak up: if meaningful health care reform is to take place, it must include
an alternative to the current tort liability regime that drives down the cost of
healthcare. Any healthcare bill must include malpractice and tort reform to
reduce medical costs to Americans. 

Michigan Physicians United was formed in 2009 to ensure adequate physician
representation and input in the national healthcare reform debate. The group
strives to drive down American healthcare costs through sustainable and sensible
healthcare improvements, which must include medical malpractice reform. 

For more information about this topic or to schedule an interview with
physicians Gerald R. Schell, M.D. or E. Malcolm Field, M.D. please call Michigan
Physicians United Managing Director Jeffrey R. Schell, Esq., at 989-397-5692.  
More information on Michigan Physicians United is available at

Michigan Physicians United
Jeffrey R. Schell, Esq., 989-397-5692 

Copyright Business Wire 2009

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