Apr 9, 2010

Med Mal Panels in NH Working According to N.H. Medical Society’s Palmer Jones

A NHBR interview with N.H. Medical Society’s Palmer Jones includes a question on how New Hampshire's medical malpractice panel has worked (which he a says in helping settle cases quicker). What follows is an excerpt from that interview... (Read the full interview here: NH Medical Society, Palmer.)
"Five years ago, the Medical Society worked with a group of legislators to create these panels. This idea was not original – it came from Maine. What we saw was, say you’re an OB/GYN in Portsmouth and you drive across the bridge and practice in Maine, you’ll get your malpractice insurance for one-third less than what you’re paying in New Hampshire from the same company.

Once we showed the legislators the comparisons of the rates, they supported it. The medical malpractice panel is now in place. It includes a retired judge, a lawyer and a doctor of the same specialty. Any liability issues brought against any physician, hospital or other health-care practitioner has to be reviewed by this panel.

The panel can then make recommendations; if the panel is unanimous, that outcome can be introduced in court should the person wish to go on to a jury trial. We think that it has changed the overall culture as to how we deal with medical malpractice. Cases are being settled quicker, and we know when this happens, the system will save funds."

No comments: