Demonstration Grants for the Development, Implementation, and Evaluation of Alternatives to the Current Medical Liability System, 48133-48134 [E9-22887]

Download as PDF 48133 Presidential Documents Federal Register Vol. 74, No. 181 Monday, September 21, 2009 Title 3— Memorandum of September 17, 2009 The President Demonstration Grants for the Development, Implementation, and Evaluation of Alternatives to the Current Medical Liability System Memorandum for the Secretary of Health And Human Services As part of my Administration’s ongoing effort to reform our health care system, we have reached out to members of both political parties and listened to the concerns many have raised about the need to improve patient safety and to reform our medical liability system. Between 44,000 and 98,000 patients die each year from medical errors. Many physicians continue to struggle to pay their medical malpractice premiums, which vary tremendously by specialty and by State. The cost of insurance continues to be one of the highest practice expenses for some specialties. And although malpractice premiums do not account for a large percentage of total medical costs, many physicians report that fear of lawsuits leads them to practice defensive medicine, which may contribute to higher costs. We should explore medical liability reform as one way to improve the quality of care and patient-safety practices and to reduce defensive medicine. But whatever steps we pursue, medical liability reform must be just one part of broader health insurance reform—reform that offers more security and stability to Americans who have insurance, offers insurance to Americans who lack coverage, and slows the growth of health care costs for families, businesses, and government. CPrice-Sewell on DSKGBLS3C1PROD with RULES6 In recent years, there have been calls from organizations like The Joint Commission and the Institute of Medicine to begin funding demonstration projects that can test a variety of medical liability models and determine which reforms work. These groups and others have identified several important goals and core commitments of malpractice reform that should serve as a starting point for such projects. We must put patient safety first and work to reduce preventable injuries. We must foster better communication between doctors and their patients. We must ensure that patients are compensated in a fair and timely manner for medical injuries, while also reducing the incidence of frivolous lawsuits. And we must work to reduce liability premiums. In 1999, the Congress authorized the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, which is located within the Department of Health and Human Services, to support demonstration projects and to evaluate the effectiveness of projects regarding all aspects of health care, including medical liability. I hereby request that you announce, within 30 days of this memorandum, that the Department will make available demonstration grants to States, localities, and health systems for the development, implementation, and evaluation of alternatives to our current medical liability system, consistent with the goals and core commitments outlined above. This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person. VerDate Nov<24>2008 13:16 Sep 18, 2009 Jkt 217001 PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4705 Sfmt 4790 E:\FR\FM\21SEO0.SGM 21SEO0 48134 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 181 / Monday, September 21, 2009 / Presidential Documents You are authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register. THE WHITE HOUSE, WASHINGTON, September 17, 2009. [FR Doc. E9–22887 Filed 9–18–09; 11:15 am] VerDate Nov<24>2008 13:16 Sep 18, 2009 Jkt 217001 PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4705 Sfmt 4790 E:\FR\FM\21SEO0.SGM 21SEO0 OB#1.EPS</GPH> CPrice-Sewell on DSKGBLS3C1PROD with RULES6 Billing code 4110–60–P

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 181 (Monday, September 21, 2009)]
[Presidential Documents]
[Pages 48133-48134]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-22887]



[[Page 48131]]

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Part III





The President





-----------------------------------------------------------------------



Memorandum of September 17, 2009--Demonstration Grants for the 
Development, Implementation, and Evaluation of Alternatives to the 
Current Medical Liability System


                        Presidential Documents 



Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 181 / Monday, September 21, 2009 / 
Presidential Documents

___________________________________________________________________

Title 3--
The President

[[Page 48133]]

                Memorandum of September 17, 2009

                
Demonstration Grants for the Development, 
                Implementation, and Evaluation of Alternatives to the 
                Current Medical Liability System

                Memorandum for the Secretary of Health And Human 
                Services

                As part of my Administration's ongoing effort to reform 
                our health care system, we have reached out to members 
                of both political parties and listened to the concerns 
                many have raised about the need to improve patient 
                safety and to reform our medical liability system. 
                Between 44,000 and 98,000 patients die each year from 
                medical errors. Many physicians continue to struggle to 
                pay their medical malpractice premiums, which vary 
                tremendously by specialty and by State. The cost of 
                insurance continues to be one of the highest practice 
                expenses for some specialties. And although malpractice 
                premiums do not account for a large percentage of total 
                medical costs, many physicians report that fear of 
                lawsuits leads them to practice defensive medicine, 
                which may contribute to higher costs.

                We should explore medical liability reform as one way 
                to improve the quality of care and patient-safety 
                practices and to reduce defensive medicine. But 
                whatever steps we pursue, medical liability reform must 
                be just one part of broader health insurance reform--
                reform that offers more security and stability to 
                Americans who have insurance, offers insurance to 
                Americans who lack coverage, and slows the growth of 
                health care costs for families, businesses, and 
                government.

                In recent years, there have been calls from 
                organizations like The Joint Commission and the 
                Institute of Medicine to begin funding demonstration 
                projects that can test a variety of medical liability 
                models and determine which reforms work. These groups 
                and others have identified several important goals and 
                core commitments of malpractice reform that should 
                serve as a starting point for such projects. We must 
                put patient safety first and work to reduce preventable 
                injuries. We must foster better communication between 
                doctors and their patients. We must ensure that 
                patients are compensated in a fair and timely manner 
                for medical injuries, while also reducing the incidence 
                of frivolous lawsuits. And we must work to reduce 
                liability premiums.

                In 1999, the Congress authorized the Agency for 
                Healthcare Research and Quality, which is located 
                within the Department of Health and Human Services, to 
                support demonstration projects and to evaluate the 
                effectiveness of projects regarding all aspects of 
                health care, including medical liability. I hereby 
                request that you announce, within 30 days of this 
                memorandum, that the Department will make available 
                demonstration grants to States, localities, and health 
                systems for the development, implementation, and 
                evaluation of alternatives to our current medical 
                liability system, consistent with the goals and core 
                commitments outlined above.

                This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, 
                create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, 
                enforceable at law or in equity by any party against 
                the United States, its departments, agencies, or 
                entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any 
                other person.

[[Page 48134]]

                You are authorized and directed to publish this 
                memorandum in the Federal Register.
                
                
                    (Presidential Sig.)

                THE WHITE HOUSE,

                    WASHINGTON, September 17, 2009.

[FR Doc. E9-22887
Filed 9-18-09; 11:15 am]
Billing code 4110-60-P