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Monday, November 10, 2008

Do it right

I see that OHSU has come to its senses and is agreeing to a $2 million liability cap to replace the obscene $200,000 malpractice limit that the Oregon courts have tossed out.

It's about time.

But please, please, please, Oregon Legislature: When you enact the $2 million cap, set it so that it is automatically indexed for inflation every year. May I suggest that the adjustment be based on the cost of medical care?

Failure to increase the cap routinely for inflation is the root cause of the current supposed crisis in OHSU liability exposure. It is really, really easy to fix.

Comments (1)

Why a liability cap at all?

Show me that OHSU has a serious self-monitoring program aimed at rooting out and preventing malpractice first. The astronomical salaries OHSU pays its executives are far better spent helping med-mal victims than they are on mansions, boats, and houses on the coast for those guys.

Show me the aggressive program aimed at eliminating "wrong side" errors, hospital-acquired infections like MRSA, misdiagnoses, and administration of meds errors, and then we can talk about limiting their liability. OHSU should be the kind of place that makes for-profit and nominally non-profit hospitals look like amateurs.

Instead, they're no better than any place else, and the main interest is avoiding liability for malpractice rather than eliminating malpractice. They try to pick their status as needed to suit their interests of the moment ("We're private, we don't have to talk to you. No, we're public, you can't sue us!") and merrily go on their way to the bank.

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