98,000 Preventable Deaths

MICRA BACKGROUND
Click here to learn more about MICRA, including valuable information and statistics about how MICRA didn't lower medical malpractice insurance premiums and what the MICRA cap would be if adjusted for inflation.

MICRA: WHO BENEFITS?
Click here to learn why insurance companies benefit more from MICRA than patients or doctors.

Night Shift Nightmare
After dark is prime time for fatal hospital mistakes.
How to protect yourself.

Docs slow to admit mistakes.
We all make mistakes, even doctors from time to time. And in theory, it's good to admit it when we make a mistake.
Click here to read more.

CAOC has a Web site with great information regarding medical errors.
Links to recent news on the issue, 
Click here to visit.

  • Medical Negligence: Widespread and Deadly
    According to the Institute of Medicine/National Academy of Sciences, 98,000 Americans die each year as a result of preventable medical errors. (1)

    Preventable medical errors kill more Americans than diabetes, influenza and Alzheimer’s; and if tracked separately, would be the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States. (2)

    The cost of avoidable medical errors is estimated at $500 billion a year, or 30 percent of all health care spending. (3)

  • Medical Errors: Unreported and Under Compensated
    The reporting and tracking of preventable medical errors offers the best hope for prevention—yet neither doctors nor hospitals are obligated to report their errors.

    Health care is substantially more dangerous than it should be, but malpractice litigation has little to do with the continuing failure of medical providers to deal effectively with the erratic quality of health care. (4)

  • Prescription for Patient Safety: Reporting and Compensation
    Patient safety must be part of health care reform, so that expanded coverage doesn’t create more victims of medical negligence.

    Silence about preventable medical errors puts future patients at risk.

  • MICRA: Failed Public Policy
    In California, a law called MICRA set arbitrary limits on the maximum amount that can be recovered by a patient injured or killed by a preventable medical error; regardless of the severity of the injury or the degree of negligence.

    The MICRA cap was set at $250,000 and has not been adjusted or raised due to inflation since it was enacted 32 years ago.

    MICRA has failed to achieve its stated purpose which was to lower medical malpractice insurance premiums for doctors. (5)

    Instead, MICRA’s arbitrary caps trivialize the value of a human life, discriminate against the most vulnerable members of society and take away the rights of injured people.

    CITATIONS:
    1. Institute of Medicine/National Academy of Sciences To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System, 2003

    2. Institute of Medicine/National Academy of Sciences To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System, 2003

    3. Forbes, “Fixing Hospitals,” By Robert Langreth, June 20, 2005

    4. Cornell Law Review, The Poor State of Health-Care Quality in the U.S., David A. Hyman and Charles Silver, July 2005

    5. Medical malpractice insurance premiums rose 450-percent over 13 years after MICRA was enacted in 1975, in 1988 insurance reform Proposition 103 passed and premiums dropped 21 percent over the next several years. Source data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Report on Profitability (various years).