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Monday, September 28, 2009

Is the Trial Lawyer Lobby on Life Support?

According to the Washington Times, the Trial Lawyers lobby has been “awash in debt and bleeding members” – to the tune of a $6.2 million operating deficit. 

Now called The American Association for Justice (AAJ), The Trial Lawyers Association’s membership is dwindling just as it gears up to fight any gesture by President Obama to address malpractice reform. 

President Obama’s medical malpractice initiatives are outlined on Dr. Kevin’s Pho’s medical blog.  NJLRA shares many of these objectives with the President:

* Put patient safety first
* Work to reduce preventable injuries
* Foster better communication between doctors and patients
* Ensure that patients are fairly and quickly compensated for medical injuries
* Reduce the incidence of frivolous lawsuits
* Reduce medical liability insurance premiums

According to Pho, the grants to fund his proposed awards in selected states will involve a “competitive three-pronged initiative” with these components:

* Grants for up to $3 million for three years to states and health systems to implement and evaluate evidence-based patient safety and medical liability demonstrations
* One-year grants of up to $300,000 to states or health systems to help the planning process of implementing such programs
* A review of existing initiatives that improve healthcare quality and patient safety and decrease medical liability. This report will be issued in December 2009

Even in its infancy, the Trial Bar is rallying its dwindling troops to block reforms in its broadest and most feel-good sense.  Check out Dr. Pho’s blog to learn more about what the Trial Lawyers are fighting against: http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2009/09/medical-malpractice-reform-president-obama-white-house.html.   


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