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Burton’s News & Observer Op-Ed on Medical Errors

On Thursday, the News and Observer published an opinion piece by Dr. James Bryan and Burton Craige entitled Harmed in the Hospital.  It begins: “In 1999, the Institute of Medicine reported that medical errors in American hospitals cause up to 98,000 deaths and more than 1 million injuries each year. In response to the institute’s report, hospitals in North Carolina and around the country announced initiatives to improve patient safety.  A recent article in The New England Journal of Medicine assessed the efficacy of these initiatives. Looking exclusively at hospitals in North Carolina, the article reported a shockingly high rate of preventable injuries to patients, and little or no improvement over time.”

Check out the whole article.

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New Laws Go Into Effect Today

A bunch of the new laws passed by the North Carolina legislature earlier this year go into effect today. The News and Observer highlights a few, including the statute of repose law that helps consumers injured by defective products. The N&O also has a more complete list of laws going into effect here.

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Burton Craige in Medical Malpractice Article in the N&O

Burton Craige is quoted in this article on medical malpractice in today’s News and Observer.  The issue of medical malpractice had not been a significant part of the debate over comprehensive health care reform, but the issue briefly came to the fore when it was mentioned by President Obama in his health care address to Congress in early September.  As the article demonstrates, however, the number of medical malpractice lawsuits has sharply decreased in recent years.  The main beneficiary of that decrease, though, are the malpractice insurance companies, who apparently have not lowered doctors’ premiums accordingly.

The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein, the go-to source on the great health care debate, has several insightful posts on the medical malpractice issue here, here, and here (from 2006).

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