|March 2005 · Vol. 17, No. 3
Want liability reform? Shift burden to patients
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) hopes to alert the public to the liability insurance crisis through its “Who will deliver my baby?” advertising campaign. But nothing will change until patients are forced to put their money where their mouth is. I have a bold proposal: Have patients buy liability insurance for a specified medical event, the way they purchase flight or vacation insurance. The physician would be responsible for office coverage, which is relatively cheap, and the patient would buy a policy for a delivery or operation by a private physician.
No patient would be denied care. The woman who presents to a hospital in labor without the policy would be treated like a service patient: delivered by a resident under an attending physician’s supervision.