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Does New Care Healthcare Law Mean More Medical Malpractice Suits?

Starting in 2013, key provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) went into effect, with enrollment in the state insurance marketplaces opening in October and coverage beginning in January 2014. Among the benefits touted by proponents of the system are its requirements that insurance pay for preventive medical services such as annual checkups, maternity care, mental health care, colonoscopies and mammograms without out-of-pocket costs to the consumer.

Why might medical malpractice suits increase under the new law?

Since the legislation’s goal is to grant access to affordable health insurance for more Americans while reducing healthcare spending on the whole, some fear that the American medical system is going to be placed under serious strain. With 20 to 40 million uninsured Americans gaining coverage under the plan, some people believe that soaring patient demands may stretch the resources of hospitals and health centers to their breaking points. And some wonder if more medical errors causing serious injuries are inevitable with such an influx of patients and no concurrent increases in resources for the medical industry.

Why might medical malpractice suits decrease under the new law?

While the program is not without its vocal detractors, it appears that the medical establishment actually supports the new rules. Specifically, the American Medical Association (AMA) maintains that the law should improve the quality of healthcare in the United States by simplifying administrative processes and reducing resources necessary for insurance claim processing. The AMA claims that this ultimately means that doctors and nurses can devote more time and effort to patient care, as opposed to red tape and paperwork. In addition, many believe that increased preventative care discourages the environment in which mistakes are made that lead to malpractice suits.

Does the law affect Americans’ rights to compensation for medical malpractice injuries?

The rights of those who are injured as a result of medical professionals’ negligence have not been affected by the new system. The bottom line remains that when caregivers’ negligently fail to follow established protocols and injury or death occurs, they are liable for damages to those who have been harmed.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured because of the mistakes of medical professionals, contact the compassionate attorneys at Hoffman DiMuzio.

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