The Wall Street Journal
: "To cut medical-malpractice costs, five New York City hospitals have agreed to a pilot program to divulge medical mistakes early, offer settlements quickly and use special state 'health courts,' where judges will help negotiate agreements before cases go to trial. The program, funded for three years with $3 million from the federal government, aims to cut the $1.4 billion spent annually in New York State on medical-malpractice premiums, hospital and state officials say. It is one of several programs being funded by the federal government to encourage hospitals to acknowledge and reduce medical errors. The hospitals in the project, which starts this fall, are Beth Israel Medical Center, Mount Sinai Medical Center and New York-Presbyterian Hospital, all in Manhattan; Maimonides Medical Center, Brooklyn; and Montefiore Medical Center, the Bronx. … Hospitals already offer settlements to patients when errors occur, officials said. The pilot program offers another forum for resolution: allowing consenting parties to go to a judge to mediate disputes" (Sataline, 7/23). The Hill
: "A bill that would have the federal government cover medical malpractice costs for physicians who volunteer at community health centers cleared the Energy and Commerce panel's health subcommittee on Thursday. The sponsors of the bipartisan Family Health Care Accessibility Act, Reps. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) and Gene Green (D-Texas), say the bill would enable underserved communities to have access to care at minimal cost to the government. The bill extends to volunteers the medical liability protections currently offered by the Federal Tort Claims Act to physicians employed at community health centers" (Pecquet, 7/22).