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Hospital lawsuit reform v. Malpractice reform?

From the N&O and Char-O’s hospital series, one unbelievable statistic today:

During the five years ending in 2010, N.C. hospitals filed more than 40,000 lawsuits to collect on bills.  Most of those suits were filed by just two entities: Carolinas HealthCare and Wilkes Regional Medical Center in North Wilkesboro. Each filed more than 12,000 suits over the five-year period, according to state courts data. Wilkes Regional, which is managed by Carolinas HealthCare, appears to be the state’s most litigious individual hospital

In 2009 the number of medical malpractice suits filed in NC:  438

So one hospital system filed over 24,000 lawsuits in North Carolina courts over five years, or nearly 5,000 lawsuits a year. It is a wonder that our legal system is doing anything else other than deal with lawsuits from Carolinas HealthCare and the hospital it manages.  It’s fine to talk about reforming the way we deal with medical mistakes, but it is clear that one of the largest burdens on our NC courts and legal system has absolutely nothing to do with medical malpractice.

2 Comments

  1. Michael End

    April 25, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Last year’s so-called tort “reform” measures for medical negligence cases were certainly not needed in North Carolina. In 2009, North Carolina had the 4th lowest number of payments per population for doctor negligence of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, one payment for every 86,063 people. In 2010, North Carolina had the 6th lowest number of payments per population, one payment for every 64,253 people. Last year, North Carolina, once again, had the 6th lowest number of payments per population, one payment for every 68,003 people.
    How did it happen that a state with as few payments per population as any of the states passed a law limiting the rights of people injured by medical negligence? The legislators who passed the law should be voted out of office for depriving their most-seriously injured constituents the right to recover fair compensation for injuries caused by medical negligence.

  2. Paula Wolf

    April 25, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    Perhaps it is no coincidence that the Medical Society was silent on HB 854-Abortion Women’s Right to Know. This bill forces docs to read the same right-wing-written script to all women before they access abortion services. I thought it was curious that physicians were not vocal against the government telling them how to practice medicine.