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Malpractice mediation poised to expand

As a tool to settle litigation between plaintiffs and defendants, mediation can reduce the number of malpractice cases that go to trial and avoid the risk of high jury awards for plaintiffs, while also greatly expediting case resolution and saving on protracted legal costs for plaintiffs and defendants.

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Should MCP Hospital close?

There would clearly be some negative impacts: jobs would be lost, local businesses would close and physicians would be dislocated. Some analysts counter that MCP had been a weak institution – financially, academically and clinically – for many years, that Philadelphia has an abundance and/or maldistribution of medical services, and that MCP’s closure would cause little long-term disruption to most physicians, patients or remaining hospitals.

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Malpractice reforms ineffective

In the wake of fresh premium increases and heavy lobbying last year for tort reforms that stalled in the Pa. Legislature, physicians may look to what reforms have passed in Pa., and whether they will bring relief any time soon.

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Long-term reforms stalled in 2003

Many physicians may wonder what happened to the clout they projected eight months ago at the Code Blue Protests - having since seen little visible progress toward malpractice reform goals and nearly losing MCARE abatement relief, which looked like it was in the bag early on.

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Role of patient satisfaction

As physicians and hospitals experience growing pressure to increase the quality of their outcomes, enhance the safety of their patients and lower the cost of their care, analysts expect greater attention and scrutiny to be given to the accountability function of patient satisfaction scores, and to ways in which patient satisfaction measurement can be further integrated into an overall measure of clinical quality.

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Changing roles of the PHC4

Businesses and consumers – despite perennial accolades and praise for Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council’s mission with each published report – have scarcely made use of the data in their purchasing and provider selection decisions over the years, while physicians and hospitals have become the chief users of the Council’s data for quality improvement efforts.

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MDs weigh HMO settlements

Three health insurance companies have come forth with lawsuit settlement proposals promising more favorable reimbursement practices and significant changes in their reimbursement policies and procedures, which physicians had tried to get them to implement, without success, through contract negotiations and through legislative channels.

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