Medical Liability Reform
The US tort system is costly, time-consuming, inefficient, and unjust, with widely variable and inconsistent monetary judgments awarded by lay juries to injured patients. It cannot accurately distinguish bad outcomes from genuine negligence and has the potential to devastate the practice of obstetrics.
The costs of this system are borne by all obstetric caregivers and the hospitals where they work, through the escalation of medical liability premiums. This contributes to a reduction in obstetric care by those currently practicing and in the number of American medical school graduates choosing to enter obstetric residency programs.
ACOG advocates for medical liability reform on the state and federal levels to improve patient access to care, and ob-gyn career satisfaction.
At the federal and state levels, ACOG supports caps on noneconomic damages and calls on States and Congress to pass proven reforms like those in place in California and Texas.
ACOG also supports innovative, nontraditional reforms, such as:
- Communication-and-resolution programs
- Administrative compensation systems
- Safe harbors
- Judge-directed negotiation
- Apology laws
ACOG calls for further testing through State demonstration projects followed by wider implementation of those that show promise and work.