The grants being made under the reform law are meant to find solutions for problems such as hospitals and doctors that, instead of owning up to their mistakes, cover them up; preventing errors that injure patients; and reducing lawsuit costs by avoiding lengthy trials.
Maybe some good things will come from these pilot programs. They seem to me to be more of a back-door way tort reformers are trying to keep you away from a jury completely.
For example, in New York, a pilot program calls for hospitals to decided whether a patient has been injured by malpractice, and if so, they’ll apologize and offer a settlement. Cases that aren’t settled that way would go to a special court where judges (not juries) would hear a case. The judges would decide if there was malpractice and how much compensation, if any, a plaintiff should get. Plaintiffs wouldn’t be required to accept the courts decision and could still file a lawsuit.
I think they have this backwards. All these plans are designed to limit in one way or another how much doctors and hospitals have to pay for committing malpractice. Instead, how about weeding out the doctors and hospitals that commit malpractice so there’s no need to pay victims?