Home Members Only Find Member News Join PaTLA Consumers Login Logout Renew

News & Case Notes
Subscribe to the Newsletter
PaTLA E-Newsletters
E-Mail Listservs
Legislative News
Around the State
News from ATLA
Verdicts & Settlements

PaTLA: fostering public awareness and understanding of the role of the trial lawyer in the administration of justice.

Shopping Cart

Society should pay for doctors’ insurance, says former U.S. Treasury Secretary

(1/12/2022) - Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill--now head of a Pittsburgh healthcare group--said yesterday that society should be willing to pay the cost of doctors’ malpractice premiums and the there should be no legal redress for victims of medical errors, AP reports. Instead, doctors should be willing to tell the truth, according to the article.

"We need to abolish the medical malpractice system as it has evolved," O'Neill told about 250 medical, community and business leaders gathered at Bristol Regional Medical Center, according to AP.

"Doctors should not have to pay for malpractice insurance," he said. "Society should be willing to pay the cost for medical misadventures for people with lost economic potential. And lawyers should not be allowed in the room.

"In exchange, medical providers should be willing to tell the truth and tell it fast about everything that goes wrong," he added.

Such a system would allow the medical community to learn from each other's mistakes, according to O'Neill. Could it really happen?

"At the federal level, it only takes one politician willing to tell the truth, someone to encourage the president to address this, to identify a medical center, such as this one, and spend the money to implement it and see if it will work," he said.

O'Neill said there also "needs to be a complete redesign of the reimbursement system" for doctors. "A physician submits bills for 100 cents and is pleased to get 30. That's not quite right. But that can't be solved without the federal government taking the lead," he said.

He recommended a presidential commission "that's not cynical to study that _ to work toward a system focused on the best possible outcomes for patients."

O'Neill, who was in the Tri-Cities to consult with officials at Wellmont Health System, has been involved in the debate over health issues since his first stint in the government back in the 1960s and 1970s as an analyst at the Office of Management and Budget and during his time as chief executive of aluminum giant Alcoa.

He now heads the Pittsburgh Regional Health Care Initiative, a consortium of hospitals, medical societies and businesses studying ways to improve health care delivery in western Pennsylvania.

PaTLA 121 South Broad Street, Suite 600 Philadelphia, PA, 19107
Tel   215.546.6451 Fax  215.546.5430
Copyright © 2004, PaTLA All Rights Reserved