Negligence and Malpractices in the US Healthcare System

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Section 1: In the first section of the paper, you should give careful thought to how you might define the policy problem. Malpractice is the failure to provide professional services with the skill usually exhibited by responsible and careful members of the profession, resulting in injury, loss, or damage to the party contracting those services. Though accountants, lawyers, and other professionals can be charged with malpractice, the term is most commonly associated with medical professionals (e.g., doctors, nurses, hospital technicians.) Liability in malpractice depends on whether "a physician meets a legally required standard of care" (Greenberg 2011). Most medical malpractice suits are for negligence on the part of medical professionals in providing this expected level of care. In recent decades, partially as a consequence of medical costs, there has been a considerable expansion of medical malpractice suits, though the number of malpractice claims represents only a small percentage (about 3%) of all cases of actual negligence. State tort provisions do "influence litigation risk and malpractice insurance is used to mitigate this risk" (Linville 2011). The direct costs of malpractice, such as settlements and insurance premiums, have tended, however, to remain relatively constant (about 0.5%) with respect to overall medical spending during the last 20 years. Malpractice has led to significantly higher rates for malpractice insurance and, some studies indicate, a

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