Healthcare Bill Fails to Address Key Cost Creator, Doctors Warn
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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 http://www.michiganphysicians.org Michigan Physicians United Jeffrey R. Schell, Esq., 989-397-5692 Copyright Business Wire 2009