Although Arizona voters have voted against the proposal three times, Gov. Doug Ducey has asked Congress to limit how much money can be paid out to people in medical malpractice suits. The governor said whatever replaces the Affordable Care Act should include a limit of this type.
According to Ducey, the high cost of insurance premiums medical professionals must take out in order to protect themselves against malpractice lawsuits along with high awards to patients are one reason for the high cost of health care. Ducey said such a cap would still allow justice for patients but would prevent doctors from being pushed out of the industry or facing an onerous financial burden. Two provisions in the Arizona state constitution would need to be repealed before such a reform could go forward.
Ducey made the comments as the Senate voted against a repeal of the ACA. Arizona Sen. John McCain cast the deciding vote against the repeal.
Doctor errors may range from the minor to the serious. Serious errors may include misdiagnoses, wrong-site surgery or medication errors. For a mistake to be considered medical malpractice, two conditions must be in place. One is that the mistake must have caused some sort of harm to the patient. The second is that the error must be the result of negligence. A court would determine whether the patient would have received similar care in most medical settings or whether the mistake happened because of a lower standard of care. This allows recognition of the fact that some conditions are difficult to diagnose and that an immediate diagnosis would be outside the scope of most medical professionals.
Source: KJZZ, "Gov. Ducey Seeks Cap For Damages In Medical Malpractice Suits," Phil Latzman, July 31, 2017