Many of us have heard the devastating numbers--as many as 190,000 people killed each year by hospital errors (that's over 500 every day); 1.5 million people injured each year by medication errors; 90,000 people killed each year by infections acquired in hospitals. Yet, the insurance companies still want to blame the injured patients for the high cost of medical care, saying that lawsuits are costing patients money. The truth is that the total cost of all medical malpractice insurance is less than one percent of the total healathcare bill in this country. The New England Journal of Medicine published a study finding that the vast majority of lawsuits against healthcare providers involved patients with significant injuries caused by real medical errors--not some frivolous claimant looking for a windfall.
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