Five New York Hospitals are becoming part of a malpractice pilot program aimed at reducing medical errors. This three year program will be funded by the federal government for $3 million. While in this program, these hospitals will disclose medical errors early, offer settlements more quickly, and enlist the help of specialized judges to mediate these settlements before they go to trial.
This main goal of this pilot program is to reduce preventable medical mistakes by causing doctors and hospitals to admit their errors and learn from their mistakes. The secondary goal is to reduce costs of medical malpractice insurance.
Patients and their families will be encouraged to take part in this program, but will not be required to. If a patient agrees to participate in the program but a settlement cannot be reached, they still retain the right to seek a jury trial.
The five hospitals participating in this, according to the New York State Department of Health, are: Beth Israel Medical Center, Mount Sinai Medical Center, Maimonides Medical Center, Montefiore Medical Center, and New York Presbyterian Hospital.
While we fully support any program that aims to increase patient safety and limit medical errors, our main concern is that victims of medical malpractice are treated with dignity and not victimized twice- first by the hospitals and then by the legal system.
We will keep track of this pilot program over the next three years and report back on its effectiveness.
Other media outlets who have reported on this pilot program:
Wall Street Journal: Mediating Malpractice
Renal and Urology News: New York Hospitals Test Malpractice Program
Kahn, Gordon, Timko & Rodriques, P.C.: NY Pilot Program Aimed at Reducing Preventable Medical Mistakes
Kaiser Health News: NY Hospitals Agree To Pilot Program To Cut Medical-Malpractice Costs